Photo Credit: Arik Ascherman's Facebook page
Arik Ascherman

Arik Ascherman, CEO of the controversial left-wing NGO Torat Tzedek, is violating the law by taking a disproportionally large portion of the organization’s budget for his salary, charged the Zionist watchdog Im Tirtzu.

According to Torat Tzedek’s records, Ascherman earned a gross salary of 438,273 NIS ($125,000) in 2018, nearly 50 percent of the organization’s 933,794 NIS ($265,000) annual budget.

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In an official complaint filed on Tuesday with the non-profit registrar, Im Tirtzu’s Legal Division charged that Ascherman’s disproportionally high salary is a violation of the non-profit guidelines for administrative expenses, and called for the organization to be investigated for improper management.

Ascherman founded Torat Tzedek in 2017 after heading the left-wing NGO Rabbis for Human Rights for 21 years. According to Torat Tzedek’s website, the NGO works in the “Occupied Territories” for the “human rights of both Jews and non-Jews.”

Ascherman together with Torat Tzedek field coordinator Guy Hirschfeld frequently travel to Judea & Samaria to confront and film IDF soldiers, who Hirschfeld describes as “marionettes.”

During one such confrontation reported in November 2018 by Israel’s public broadcaster KAN, Hirschfeld launched into a racist diatribe against an IDF soldier of Ethiopian descent and told him to “return to his pen” in Ethiopia.

Torat Tzedek is heavily funded by the US-based New Israel Fund, which provided 705,885 NIS ($200,000) of the NGO’s total 933,794 NIS ($265,000) budget in 2018.

Attorney Ziv Maor of Im Tirtzu’s Legal Division said that “the non-profit laws are designed precisely to prevent situations like these in which an individual is taking advantage of the public benefits received by non-profit organizations in order to take an exorbitant salary.”

“The fact that this is occurring in a far-left NGO is not surprising,” continued Maor, “and I am certain that the non-profit registrar will take proper action.”

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