“American Friends of Tzohar”: disreputable, money-wasting charity

By | September 15, 2008

As I’ve written previously, I’ve been trying for almost a year to eliminate junk mail from my mailbox.

The main strategy I use for this is, quite simply, to ask the organizations that send me junk mail to stop, and to escalate my request when it goes unheeded.  In extreme cases, where the escalation is also ignored, I complain to the Better Business Bureau.

This pretty much always works.  I have never encountered an organization which has ignored all of my requests and even the BBB complaint.  Until now, that is.

The first an only (thus far) organization to completely ignore all of my requests and even my BBB complaint is a Jewish charity, American Friends of TzoharAFT is the American fund-raising arm of a special-needs school in Israel.  Or, at least, that’s what it purports to be.  The odd thing is that the Tzohar school itself doesn’t have a Web site — only AFT does.  Furthermore, courtesy of Google Maps Street View, here’s the building located at 1431 Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn, this organization’s supposed address:

I have asked AFT five times since December 6, 2007 to remove me from their mailing list.  I’ve sent my requests by email and fax.  I finally complained to the Better Business Bureau about them on July 2, 2008.

Since I first asked them to stop sending me junk mail, I have received five mailings from them, including one on September 15, 2008, more than two months after I filed the BBB complaint.

AFT has not responded in any way to any of my requests or to my BBB complaint.

Through their actions, they have left me no choice but to publicly shame them into changing their behavior.  By continuing to send me junk mail which I have told them I do not want, they have proven two things:

  1. They are incompetent, because they cannot handle the simple task of maintaining a mailing list in an appropriate fashion, something which virtually every other charity I’ve dealt with is capable of doing.
  2. They don’t care about wasting money.  How else can you explain the fact that they keep sending mailings to me when I’ve asked them to stop and clearly I’m not going to respond by sending a donation.

I encourage anyone who is solicited by this charity to ignore said solicitation and send your money to a more worthy organization.

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4 thoughts on ““American Friends of Tzohar”: disreputable, money-wasting charity

  1. jik Post author

    If they really are scammers, then shame won’t be an issue, but the possibility that I might cut into their “take” will be.

    If they aren’t scammers, but rather are simply incompetent, rude and inconsiderate, then cutting into their “take” will still be an issue, and shame may come into play as well.

    Nothing else has worked, so I figured this was worth a try, and in any case, I think people who might be asked to donate to this organization deserve to know how they handle their money and donors.


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