NYC freezes Met Council funding pending probe of Rapfogel

NEW YORK (JTA) — Nearly $1.6 million in New York City funding to the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty was frozen pending an investigation into the financial scandal involving the social service agency’s fired CEO, William Rapfogel.

City officials suspended at least 30 grants that comprise approximately  13 percent of the Met Council’s annual government aid, the Forward reported.


The funds will be frozen pending the probe of Rapfogel, the agency’s longtime executive director, who was fired Aug. 12 amid reports of a kickback scheme involving an insurance provider for the Met Council. The specific programs that were to benefit from the frozen city funds are itemized in a city budget document obtained by the Forward.

Funds affected by the freeze included more than $100,000 for crisis intervention services, $36,500 for the group’s food aid program, $155,000 for its domestic violence services and a $600,000 grant for general operating funds.

It is unclear how long the freeze will last or if the grants might be revoked. According to the Department of Investigation’s website, the average inquiry by the agency took 164 days.

“We have been in contact with the government agencies responsible for awarding our grants and are committed to addressing any concerns,” Steven Goldberg, an external communications consultant speaking for the group, told the Forward. “We will continue to work with them to ensure that our vital services are provided without disruption.”