King David of Thrones – A Poem for Haftarah Chayei Sarah by Rick Lupert


As a fan of subscription television
I’m as concerned as the next person about
who is in line to sit on the throne.

And if this saves you the trouble
of reading it yourself, rest assured
King David’s top pick, Solomon

is guaranteed that spot
despite the chariot infested uppityness
of his brother Adonijah.

What concerns me more though
is how cold King David is and
extra blankets aren’t doing the job.

This is long before space heaters
and a local virgin is brought in to
provide the warmth.

This is all to tell us David is
getting old and the matter of
the ascension is at hand.

But in this post Biblical era
where our most beloved famous people
practically modern kings

are tumbling because they
attempted to get Biblical with
local virgins, I’m finding it difficult to

focus on the Royal election.
Keep driving, oh charioteers.
Warmth is earned by love

or at least warmth.
A king is not entitled to
grab what he pleases

especially not when
it is my subscription dollars
funding the operation.


God Wrestler: a poem for every Torah Portion by Rick LupertLos Angeles poet Rick Lupert created the Poetry Super Highway (an online publication and resource for poets), and hosted the Cobalt Cafe weekly poetry reading for almost 21 years. He’s authored 21 collections of poetry, including “God Wrestler: A Poem for Every Torah Portion“, “I’m a Jew, Are You” (Jewish themed poems) and “Feeding Holy Cats” (Poetry written while a staff member on the first Birthright Israel trip), and most recently “Donut Famine” (Rothco Press, December 2016) and edited the anthologies “Ekphrastia Gone Wild”, “A Poet’s Haggadah”, and “The Night Goes on All Night.” He writes the daily web comic “Cat and Banana” with fellow Los Angeles poet Brendan Constantine. He’s widely published and reads his poetry wherever they let him.

FILE PHOTO: Cast member Louis C.K. attends the "American Hustle" movie premiere in New York December 8, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Thayer/File Photo

Louis C.K. Accused of Sexual Misconduct


Comedian and actor Louis C.K. has been accused by multiple women of engaging in sexual misconduct, mainly involving him pleasuring himself in front of these women.

Five women spoke to the New York Times about Louis C.K.’s alleged misconduct. Comedians Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov recalled how they were visiting Louis C.K. in his hotel room in Aspen, CO in 2002 during the U.S. Arts Comedy Festival. They said that the famed comedian had asked if he could expose his genitalia. Goodman and Wolov initially thought he was kidding, but he ended up completely disrobing himself and proceeded to pleasure himself in front of them. When Louis C.K. was finished, he allegedly asked, “Which one is Dana and which one is Julia?”

“We were paralyzed,” Goodman told the Times.

Goodman and Wolov began spreading their story to others at the festival, only to approached by Louis C.K.’s manager, Dave Becky, who asked them not to tell anyone about what had happened. Becky told the Times that he didn’t threaten anyone.

“I don’t recall the exact specifics of the conversation, but know I never threatened anyone,” Becky told the Times in an email.

Another woman, Abby Schachner, claimed that in a 2003 phone call she could hear Louis C.K. masturbating on their call as he panted about his various sexual fantasies. Schachner said she “felt very ashamed” and that while Louis C.K. apologized to her years later, the incident deterred her from pursuing a career in comedy.

Rebecca Corry, an actress and comedian, is claiming that in 2005, Louis C.K. appeared as a guest star on a television pilot she was working on. Louis C.K. asked “if we could go to my dressing room so he could masturbate in front of me.” Corry angrily rejected Louis C.K.’s request, highlighting the fact that he already had a pregnant wife and a daughter. Louis C.K. responding by admitting “he had issues.”

Corry said that Louis C.K. apologized to her years later, but he apologized “for shoving her in a bathroom,” which Corry said never happened. Louis C.K. simply told her that he “used to misread people.”

Another woman, who remained anonymous, told the Times that Louis C.K., who she was working with on “The Chris Rock Show,” had asked her several times if he could pleasure himself in front of her, and she eventually acquiesced and watched Louis C.K. do so at his desk.

“The big piece of why I said yes was because of the culture,” the woman told the Times. “He abused his power.”

In light of the accusations, HBO announced in a statement that it was severing ties with Louis C.K.

“Louis C.K. will no longer be participating in the Night of Too Many Stars: America Unites for Autism Programs, which will be presented live on HBO on November 18,” said HBO. “In addition, HBO is removing Louis C.K.’s past projects from its On Demand services.” C.K.’s other HBO projects include the short-lived 2006 comedy series Lucky Louie, along with comedy specials One Night Stand, Shameless and Oh My God.”

The premiere of Louis C.K.’s upcoming movie “I Love You Daddy” has been canceled as well. The comedian declined to comment to the Times on the allegations.

Former students file $380 million lawsuit against Y.U.


A $380 million lawsuit was filed against Yeshiva University by former students who allege the school covered up allegations of sexual misconduct by staff members.

The lawsuit, which was filed Monday in White Plains, N.Y., alleges a “massive cover-up of the sexual abuse of [high school] students … facilitated, for several decades, by various prominent Y.U. and [high school] administrators, trustees, directors, and other faculty members,” the Forward reported.

The Forward first published details of the claims against two former Yeshiva University staff members late last year. Rabbis George Finkelstein and Macy Gordon were accused of inappropriate contact with several students at the Yeshiva University High School for Boys in Manhattan.

Finkelstein left the high school in 1995 and took a post at a Jewish school in Florida before moving to Israel. Gordon also lives in Israel and until recently was a teacher at the Orthodox Union’s Israel Center. Both men deny the charges.

The lawsuit, filed by 19 former students, names Rabbi Norman Lamm, the university’s former president and chancellor who stepped down last week, and Rabbi Robert Hirt, a former vice president of Y.U.’s rabbinical seminary. Only two of the alleged victims — Mordechai Twersky, who lives in Israel, and Barry Singer of New York — are named. The rest are listed anonymously.

The complainants’ attorney, Kevin Mulhearn, claims that university administrators are guilty of fraud for portraying Gordon and Finkelstein as men of good character despite the many warnings they had sexually abused young boys.

Seeking to relaunch career, disgraced rabbi fights against sexual allegations


NEW YORK (JTA)—A disgraced American rabbi with a tangled history of alleged sexual misdeeds is relaunching his career as a spiritual mentor and backtracking from an apparent confession he signed two years ago.

Rabbi Mordechai Gafni acknowledged his “sickness” in 2006 after several students at his Israeli institute claimed they were lured into sexual liaisons through deception and psychological manipulation. For decades Gafni had been dogged by claims he engaged in improper sexual activities, including allegations that he molested two teenage girls.

Now Gafni is back with a new Web site that directly challenges the claims against him.

Based in Salt Lake City, Gafni, now known as Marc, is a practitioner of a Kabbalah-inspired philosophy called evolutionary spirituality.

In a statement on the controversy posted to his Web site, Gafni said the relationships he engaged in while in Israel were all “mutual and consensual,” broke no laws and did not involve an abuse of authority.

He said the letter he wrote was misunderstood to be a confession that he acted improperly.

“I believed that writing the letter would, in some measure, end the attacks, and give me time to heal and think things through,” Gafni wrote on his site, MarcGafni.com.

Gafni did not respond to requests for an interview.

A former Orthodox rabbi and later a leading figure in the Jewish Renewal movement, Gafni first gained attention in 2004 when The New York Jewish Week reported on longstanding accusations against him.

Gafni told the newspaper that one of the girls was troubled and had made up the story, but he did acknowledge a sexual relationship with the other girl when he was a 19-year-old rabbinical student.

“I was a stupid kid and we were in love,” Gafni told The Jewish Week. “She was 14 going on 35, and I never forced her.”

In response to The Jewish Week’s reporting, several prominent rabbis—including Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Arthur Green, Joseph Telushkin, Saul Berman, Tirzah Firestone and Arthur Waskow—rallied to Gafni’s defense, saying the evidence of impropriety was not convincing.

Two years later, after the news broke in Israel, several of those same rabbis backtracked, arguing that the new accusations were different from the old ones.

Waskow recently told JTA that he has reviewed the material on Gafni’s Web site and still sees “nothing whatsoever to change my mind about the wisdom of the decision that several organizations made two years ago that he should not continue to teach under their auspices.”

A section of Gafni’s new site dedicated to the controversy includes letters on his behalf from several spiritual leaders, attorneys and counselors, as well as the report of a forensic psychologist who administered a polygraph test.

Several references to e-mails and instant messages between Gafni and the Israeli women that supposedly prove the nature of their relationships were not exploitative. The correspondence is not available on the site.

“In each of these relationships, as is usually the case between men and women, there were complex power dynamics in which each side had power and vulnerability,” Gafni wrote regarding the Israel controversy. “While I never promised exclusivity to any, in retrospect I see I did fail to recognize two things. First, that my non-exclusivity might in itself be experienced as hurtful. Secondly, that these involvements themselves, and particularly the lack of transparency around them, might be experienced as painful or problematic.”

Gafni’s Web site is filled with allusions to his problems and explanations.

“Marc Gafni struggled with the question of whether to teach conventional spiritual wisdom in a conventional spiritual context, or to follow a more post-conventional style of teaching and living,” his biography says. “This tension brought great dynamism to his work, but also caused some dissonance.”

Now the biography says that Gafni will focus on “intense inner spiritual and psychological reflection on the course of his life” and “partnering with social activist leaders to create a new, grass-roots human rights movement.”

“While Marc Gafni will continue teaching, he wishes to do so as a spiritual ‘artist’ rather than as a rabbi, guru, or formal teacher,” the Web site says.

One of Gafni’s defenders is Rabbi Gershon Winkler, a New Mexico rabbi who runs Walking Stick, an organization that combines Jewish teachings with Native American wisdom.

“Do I believe that the women here experienced pain? Yes I do,” Winkler wrote in a letter posted on Gafni’s site. “Do I know that this is not a story of abuse of sexual harassment as it was reported in public forums? I am sure it is not. Do I believe that the pain caused by all of us to Rabbi Gafni far exceeds the pain that anyone else can claim to have experienced? Absolutely.”

In the letter, Winkler acknowledged that he fathered a child with a student, carried on several “intimate relationships” with students over the years and said he is currently in a relationship with two women.

Many in the Jewish Renewal leadership, he asserted, have engaged in similar sexual behavior, including some who are now critics of Gafni.

Waskow, one of the leading figures in the Renewal movement, rejected that line of argument.

“If there were, years and years ago, people in this or any other movement who did behave in ways that we would now find ethically prohibited, it was precisely because of the experience of the pain and emotional disasters and spiritual disasters created by that kind of behavior that we adopted the ethical rules that now apply,” Waskow said.

“Maybe some of that did take place, but we grew enough to decide this was not a good idea,” he said. “What he’s describing as hypocrisy is a shift over a 25-year period of time in which our movement and people in our movement grew considerably.”

Winkler told JTA that he believes it is wrong to insist on an “across-the-board” ban on sexual relationships involving rabbis and followers, teachers and students, and counselors and patients.

Gafni, he added, is a victim of sexual McCarthyism.

“I think it’s extreme,” Winkler said. “I think it’s a sexual ethic that’s made out of paranoia.”

Establishing Boundaries


For those who look up to the American Jewish clergy, it has not been a good year.
Last week, one of the Reform movement’s most prominent rabbis was suspended from the movement’s rabbinical association for past sexual misconduct.

Shortly after his suspension from the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman, widely respected as a Jewish thinker and teacher, resigned as president of the movement’s Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

The news about Zimmerman came on the heels of several other widely publicized incidents involving Jewish clergy:

A Reform rabbi in Cherry Hill, N.J., faces a possible death sentence for allegedly hiring people to murder his wife in 1994.

A Conservative cantor in the Chicago area was arrested over Thanksgiving weekend for alleged involvement in a prostitution ring.

The Orthodox Union has just received a report investigating its handling of allegations that a New Jersey rabbi working for the movement’s national youth group sexually harassed and molested teens. The report’s findings and recommendations will not be made public until late this month.

The wave of incidents is refocusing attention on an issue that has come into public view only in recent years.

In the past, rabbinic misconduct — particularly sexual misconduct — was rarely discussed publicly. Many advocates for victims complained that rabbinical associations were more interested in protecting their members than the people they hurt.

Today there are stirrings of change. Leaders of the rabbinic organizations say misconduct remains rare, but during the past five years, three of the four denominations have developed new guidelines or modified old ones for addressing misconduct.

In addition, some rabbinic seminaries are raising the issues for rabbis-in-training, both before and after ordination.

It is unclear what overall impact such changes are having, since no one appears to be tracking the issue or monitoring how the new guidelines are affecting the number of complaints or the actions taken against rabbis.

While some believe that recent high-profile cases may encourage victims to come forward, others worry that the pendulum may swing too far.

They worry that fear of false accusations or misunderstandings are leading rabbis to become nervous about even innocently hugging congregants in need of comfort or counseling people behind closed doors.

One result from all the publicity is a growing awareness of the issue, which many expect will lead to less tolerance for misconduct.

“The wall of silence around clergy misconduct is being taken down,” said Susan Weidman Schneider, editor of Lilith, a feminist Jewish magazine.

In 1998, the magazine published an article about women who said they were sexually harassed by the late charismatic Orthodox leader, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach.

Rabbi Debra Orenstein, a fellow at the Wilstein Institute in Encino, Calif., who has been an advocate on this issue in the past, said, “People are less skittish and afraid of saying this happens with rabbis and are therefore more willing to deal with it.”

Rabbinic sexual misconduct is an extraordinarily complex issue.

It ranges from more obvious transgressions, such as sexual harassment and inappropriate touching, to more ambiguous cases in which a rabbi has a seemingly consensual relationship with a congregant or staff person, but which is questionable because of the power dynamics involved.

It is difficult to know how prevalent misconduct cases are or what percentage are reported.

As Rabbi Joel Meyers, executive vice president of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly (RA), put it, “I can never guarantee there are not things that happen that don’t get taken care of.

“Obviously someone has to lodge a complaint,” he said. “My office is not a police force, and we’re not on witch hunts.”

It is also difficult to assess how fairly cases are handled, since rabbinic ethics committees — in order to protect both the accuser and the accused — operate in secrecy.

That secrecy “by its very nature makes it difficult to evaluate the process at all,” said Rabbi Shira Stern, chairwoman of the Reform movement’s Women’s Rabbinic Network.

The Conservative, Reconstructionist and Reform rabbinical associations have created or modified policies concerning sexual misconduct within the past five years.

The Conservative movement’s guidelines, in the works for several years, have not yet been printed and distributed to rabbis but are expected to be completed in June 2001.

The Orthodox rabbinical association has not modified its procedures in more than 50 years, according to Rabbi Steven Dworken, the group’s executive vice president.

But the group’s president, Rabbi Kenneth Hain, said the process may be re-examined if that is recommended in the Orthodox Union’s new report on the handling of the youth abuse case.

The movements vary in how explicit their guidelines are about procedures for inquiry and punitive measures. The Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), which is Orthodox, and the Reform movement’s CCAR made their guidelines available, while the Conservative and Reconstructionist associations gave overviews but would not distribute actual policies.

All the ethics committees request complaints in writing and give an opportunity for the accused rabbi to respond in writing. They then interview both parties and other sources, where appropriate, in order to ascertain what happened and how to respond.

When rabbis are found guilty, the responses range from a reprimand to suspension to expulsion from the association, depending on the misconduct and the assessment of the ethics committee.

Some of the movements require therapy and a process of teshuvah (repentance) in order for the charged to pursue their rabbinic careers.

In addition, the Reform movement informs any future employers of that rabbi about that rabbi’s past transgressions and rehabilitation process.

None of the rabbinic associations could provide data prior to 1995, but since then, three Reform rabbis have been suspended for sexual misconduct and two Conservative rabbis have been found guilty but not suspended.

Both Conservative rabbis were required to undergo therapy and be monitored by the ethics committee, and one was forbidden from taking any rabbinic post other than teaching adult education courses.

Meyers said the RA’s ethics committee is currently wrestling with a case in which a now 86-year-old rabbi is being accused of something he did 30 years ago, raising the question of whether rabbis should be disciplined for transgressions that occurred long ago.

Officials of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association would not disclose how many cases it has reviewed or what disciplinary action it took, and the Orthodox’s RCA said it did not know of any cases of rabbinic sexual misconduct.

Rabbi Baruch Lanner, the Orthodox rabbi accused of sexually harassing and molesting scores of youth in the Orthodox Union’s youth group, was not a member of the RCA, which is composed primarily of congregational rabbis.

Some do worry that the movements’ guidelines may be so stringent that rabbis and other Jewish professionals may not be able to do their jobs.

“At my son’s camp, the counselors weren’t allowed to check them for ticks after they come back from hikes,” said Rabbi Stephanie Dickstein, assistant dean of the Jewish Theological Seminary’s rabbinical school.

“Where’s the line? We’re in a world where touching is so dangerous that people are lonely,” Dickstein said.
Another difficulty in preventing misconduct is identifying the type of personality prone to overstepping the boundaries.

“Confidence, willingness to reach out to people — all the things that make people good rabbis also make them susceptible to inappropriate behavior,” Dickstein said.

“When you realize how much power you have with vulnerable people, sometimes you might be tempted to take advantage.”

The added scrutiny on the rabbinate, and the fear that one misstep can ruin one’s career and reputation, may add more pressures to an already demanding career.

“You have to be so many things to so many people — what I call the multifarious P’s: pastor, preacher, pedagogue, politician, public relations expert, pronouncer, priest, prophet and pal,” said Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin, spiritual leader of the Community Synagogue of Port Washington on Long Island, N.Y., and author of a recent book on Jewish masculinity.

Salkin, who is Reform, urges his colleagues to seek regular therapy and speak more openly with each other about the issues they face.

“I think rabbis stray because they need intimacy, they need affirmation and more than that, it’s what Judaism calls the ‘yetzer hara,’ the not-so-good inclination that’s within us.”

Rabbi Jacob Staub, vice president for academic affairs at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, said most rabbis and prospective rabbis think that “this is someone else’s problem — you have to be bad. But you can be operating from the noblest of motives and from what you think are the best of values, and you still could be tripped up.”

What most rabbis fall into is not “what we’d call pathological or criminal” — sexual harassment, sexual molestation or nonconsensual sex — “but human foible,” said Staub, who coordinates RRC seminars that deal with these issues.

Like the RRC, other rabbinical schools also now offer some seminars in which sexual misconduct and other related issues are addressed.

Rabbi Arthur Gross Schaefer, a law professor and spiritual leader of two Los Angeles-area congregations who has written extensively on issues of rabbinic misconduct, would like to see more.

“We need programs at seminaries and out in the field to remind them that sex and power and excitement are very real. And if you do any counseling at all, emotions are going to be there and, like therapists, we need to be aware of what’s happening and ensure that synagogues remain safe places.”

Weathering the Crisis


City of Hope is the largest provider of bonemarrow transplantation services in California. Here Dr. Stephen J.Forman attends to a patient.

The City of Hope, the esteemed charity, cancerhospital and research center, is under attack. But supporters of thecharity, whose roots run deep into the Jewish community, are comingto its defense.

Last month, the Los Angeles Times and the PasadenaStar News published reports that revealed a conflict which has beensimmering behind the scenes at City of Hope for three years.

In 1995, the charity paid settlements to threewomen who had accused then-COH president, Dr. Sanford Shapero, ofsexual misconduct, City of Hope general counsel Glenn Krinsky toldThe Jewish Journal. An initial investigation found that Shapero andan associate had demonstrated “poor judgment” but “did not establishthe existence of a sexually hostile work environment,” a City of Hopeleader wrote to Shapero. However, during a second investigation,Shapero and the associate were informed that their jobs could be onthe line, Krinsky said.

Thus began a battle that now involves the FBI andthe state attorney general’s office.

According to an FBI search-warrant affidavit,dated Jan. 29, the bureau is investigating Shapero and two associatesfor engaging “in a conspiracy to extort money from COH” bythreatening to harm its reputation and donor base.

But Shapero, a 68-year-old rabbi who once workedat Temple Emanuel, “unequivocally denies he ever made such threats,”said his attorney, Frank Nemecek. Shapero strongly denies theallegations of sexual misconduct and insists that he never tried toextort money from the City of Hope, Nemecek added.

The rabbi believes that he is the victim of a”vendetta” for his 1995 hiring of an independent company, the FairfaxGroup, to investigate possible financial improprieties at the City ofHope, the attorney said.

The alleged improprieties, in turn, have promptedthe state attorney general’s office to investigate the City of Hope.”If a credible person brings us information about something impropergoing on at a charitable trust, we will look into the matter, thoughthat does not imply any wrongdoing,” said Wayne Smith, chief ofstaff, state attorney general’s office. Smith declined to discussdetails of the case.

Krinsky, however, said that the allegationsagainst City of Hope are false. He pointed out that an arbitrationjudge cited “serious questions about Shapero’s credibility,” in courtdocuments. The judge wrote that “Shapero’s motive in retainingFairfax Group” was to uncover misconduct “that could be used asleverage in his…ongoing war with City of Hope.”

Another arbitration judge ruled that Shaperoviolated the terms of his settlement package upon leaving City ofHope. The rabbi was ordered to pay $1.3 million as “compensatorydamages” for legal and other fees incurred in the charity’s “attemptto respond to the allegations made to national and localmedia.”

For example, City of Hope had to convince “60Minutes” that the allegations against it were untrue, Krinskysaid.

On March 10, a Superior Court judge confirmed thearbitration award against Shapero. Nemecek says Shapero will appealthe Judge’s order with the California Court of Appeals.

Steven Solton, COH’s chief development officer,said that he expected “hundreds” of donors to contact his officeafter the newspaper articles ran last month. Krinsky expected to bedeluged by calls from the press. But only a dozen people telephoned,and all were supportive, the officials said. There also haven’t beenany complaints from the more than 350 auxiliary chapter presidentsthroughout the United States. All of them received a Feb. 18 letterthat stated COH’s point of view.

“Let’s say you have a good friend, someone withintegrity. If someone says something derogatory about them, you’renot going to ingest the negative information,” said Claire L.Rothman, chair of the medical center board.

Dr. Stephen Forman, COH’s physician-in-chief, saidthat he insulated his staff from the legal battles. “No one was everdistracted by this,” he told The Journal.

More than two years after Shapero’s departure,officials insist, COH is stronger than ever. Since 1995, researchgrants have almost doubled, from $13 million to $25 million, Soltonsaid. Fund raising, which covers one-quarter of COH’s annual $250million budget, has increased from $47 million in 1994 to $59 millionlast year. During the past 24 months, 33 new physicians andscientists have joined the staff from illustrious institutions, suchas Harvard Medical School. And, last year, COH opened four newbuildings on the pastoral campus, including an outpatient center thataccommodates 204,000 patient visits per year.

The story of the City of Hope began one day in1912, when a young Jewish tailor fell dead of tuberculosis in frontof his walk-up residence at 12th Street and Central Avenuedowntown.

Thereafter, a dozen people, principally Jewishémigrés and garment workers, traversed theneighborhood, clutching the four corners of an American flag asneighbors pitched in their pennies, nickels and dimes. The changepaid for the young man’s funeral; it was also the birth of amovement. Ailing East Coast sweatshop workers were fleeing toCalifornia, only to find that many TB sanitariums refused to admitJews.

The first City of Hope patients treated fortuberculosis were housed in one tent, with a nurse in the other, on10 acres purchased by volunteers. Below, The Spirit of Life Fountain,representing the hospital’s philosophy.

And, so, the Los Angeles Jews took up the call tofight the “white plague.” By January 1914, their nickels and dimeshad purchased 10 acres of land in Duarte, at the foot of the SanGabriel Mountains. There, the Jewish Consumptive Relief Associationbegan with two tents, two patients and a nurse.

When TB was eradicated with the advent ofantibiotics in the 1940s, the charity began tackling another deadlydisease: cancer. Today, City of Hope, comprising a 110-acre campusthat features a Japanese garden, is one of the most important cancerhospitals and research centers in the world.

Although COH is now nonsectarian, 70 percent ofits donor base remains Jewish. There are some 2,500 employees,including more than 250 physicians and scientists, “a significantpercentage of them Jewish,” Forman said. COH is known formanufacturing the first synthetic insulin, as well as for itsresearch in cancer genetics and cutting-edge treatments for leukemia,breast cancer and other diseases.

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COH is also known as California’s largest privateprovider of free and subsidized medical care, Krinsky said.”Twenty-eight percent of all money spent on medical care helpsindigent patients, which is an integral part of our mission,” saidCharles M. Balch, City of Hope’s president and CEO. But finding waysto pay for the care remains a struggle in this competitive hospitalera, Balch added.

That is why some of COH’s supporters are worryingabout the recent negative publicity. “The possible alienation of anysector of our support is of tremendous concern,” said Ben Horowitz, adefining City of Hope past president and CEO.

In fact, the charity may have lost a $50 millionhospital endowment, in part, because of the allegations, Krinskysaid. And one 35-year board member, Percy Solotoy, resigned over theway, he perceived, COH was mistreating Shapero. “I can’t understandthe viciousness with which [he] is being pursued,” Solotoy told TheJournal. “That runs counter to City of Hope’s philosophy…. Dr.Shapero and I had a very close relationship, and I don’t believe hecould have engaged in criminal acts.”

Three others, including a COH donor, phoned TheJournal to express support for Shapero.

City of Hope supporters say that the charity ismerely defending itself from harmful attacks; Pat Perrott, a majordonor, says what is at stake is the welfare of people such as herson, Matthew Phelan.

Seven years ago, Phelan, then 30, was diagnosedwith an aggressive form of lymphoma. After 14 unsuccessful months ofradiation and chemotherapy, a bone-marrow transplant at the City ofHope was his last hope, Perrott said. When he first entered thehospital, he weighed little more than 100 pounds and shivered underhis heavy coat, despite the August heat, his mother recalled.

But the transplant worked, and, last April, Phelanand six fellow patients were pronounced cured. Perrott threw them ahuge, celebratory bash, inviting all the doctors and nurses who hadtreated them at the hospital.

“I feel angry that anyone would try to denigratethe City of Hope,” Perrott told The Journal. “The work they do is tooimportant. They keep families whole.”


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