No, I am not talking about kashruth. I am talking about not-for-profit best practices for monitoring the finances of Jewish institutions. “Boca Jew,” commented in Frum Follies,
Rabbi Eliyahu Rabovsky of the Young Israel of Boca Raton won’t allow even board members to see the budget. And of course its loshon hora for any shul member to ask why the shul’s spending is a secret. I’ve been told by former board members of other shuls about their Rabbi having the shul pay for business class for the rabbi’s Israel vacation.
It would be nice of the Young Israel movement and the OU to require their member synagogues to submit to outside audits and require them to publicly release them so members can ensure the shul funds are being used for the shul and not the Rabbi’s family or his yeshiva.
The need for an outside audit is especially imperative to ensure the Rabbi’s discretionary fund doesn’t benefit his children staying in kollel instead of the community poor.
It is sad to hear a Young Israel rabbi rejecting financial accountability. Young Israel was founded at the beginning of the 20th century as an alternative to existing shuls where money held sway and the rich were officers even when they worked on shabbos. When it was founded, the selling of aliyot was banned, congregants ran the synagogues through accountable boards, not rabbis, and officers had to be shomer shabbos. Since then, shabbos observance has become the norm throughout the orthodox world, but we are faced with a Young Israel where budgets are no longer subject to transparency.