The director of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, Rabbi David Katz, claims the US government’s Small Business Administration approved a $35,000 disaster loan to his group, only to renege on its statement later.
We The Rabbinical Alliance of America applied for $35,000 and we got denied. We have over 950 Rabbis & community leaders in our Alliance who lost their income & we got nothing!
— The Rabbinical Alliance of America (@RabbinicalOf) December 16, 2020
The Rabbinical Alliance of America (in Hebrew, Igud HaRabbonim) is a national rabbinic organization founded in 1942, with more than 900 members across a broad spectrum of Orthodox Judaism who serve as congregational leaders, religious teachers, chaplains, heads of Jewish organizations, and communal leaders.
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government agency that provides support to entrepreneurs and small businesses, with a mission “to maintain and strengthen the nation’s economy by enabling the establishment and viability of small businesses and by assisting in the economic recovery of communities after disasters.”
“I just question. I wonder why. I wonder if there is no respect for rabbinical organizations,” Rabbi Katz told The NY Post Saturday night, adding, “And I wonder why wouldn’t an alliance of so many rabbis be priority number one. As the director of an organization, people always call me for help and I always try to help, but this time I wasn’t able to help.”
The SBA sent the head of the RAA a letter informing him of his promised loan being rejected over “unverifiable information,” explaining that “during the loan underwriting process there were one or more items that were reviewed that caused the SBA to question the validity of certain information you submitted as part of your application.”
“They have pushed me to everyone else. A woman on the phone told me ‘Rabbi Katz I don’t know what happened,’” Rabbi Katz said.
According to a July 7 report in Newsweek, Religious Organizations Receive $7.3 Billion in PPP Loans, Megachurches Amass Millions:
“Treasury Department data shows that religious organizations, ranging from nearly 10,000 Catholic churches to hundreds of Jewish groups, received 88,411 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans since the program began April 3. […] 4.8 million PPP loans totaling more than $521 billion have been paid out to businesses and organizations nationwide since the start of the pandemic. Religious organizations were defined by the SBA as “churches (including temples, mosques, synagogues, and other houses of worship), auxiliaries of churches and conventions of associations of churches.”