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New York - Rabbi Horowitz Analyzes the Arevim Life Insurance Program

Published on: May 17, 2010 01:20 PM
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New York - A week ago, Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, Director of Project YES, and a lifelong tireless advocate for children, reached out to the leadership of Arevim Life Insurance  Program in a respectful manner voicing concerns that he had with their program. (Details and background of their exchange can be found here . 
Rabbi Horowitz wrote a letter to Arevim last Wednesday and received Averim’s response today.
Both are posted  on his website, and can be reviewed below.
VIN commends Rabbi Horowitz for his efforts and the respectful manner in which this was done. Its up to the readers to decide the value, or critic about this organization. VIN is asking our readers to maintain a dignified tone in all comments that are posted on this thread.

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A representative of Areivim.info  emailed VIN News stating that the program Kol Yisroel Areivim  is not affiliated with them.
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Rabbi Horowitz writes:

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29 Iyar 5770

May 11th, 2010

Reb Yoel Bochner

Director, Areivim

Dear Reb Yoel:

Allow me to begin by thanking you and the other leaders of Areivim for your efforts to insure the breadwinners of our families and to avoid the dreadfully humiliating public campaigns for widow(er)s and orphans whose parent passed away r’l without life insurance.

Due to my first-hand experience with losing a parent at a young age, I have always had very strong feelings about the importance of parents having adequate life insurance to provide for their children in case chas v’shalom tragedy strikes. My father a’h was more than responsible in that regard, and his generous life insurance policy provided my mother ylc’t with the financial wherewithal to raise us with menuchas hanefesh and dignity throughout our formative years.

I would also like to thank you for your openness in permitting me to pose these questions to you. I trust that we can do this in a respectful and constructive manner.

Here are my questions/suggestions:

To begin with, both in your advertisements for the program and on your website there is virtually no information about the dedicated individuals who run the program. In a project like yours that relies so much on trust, it is critical that the public have this information. For example; who was the founder of this program, who manages the day-to-day operations, and who are the Board of Directors? Who are the rabbonim who will be overseeing the funds, who will be investing the money, and will the person making the investments and those running the program take a fee and/or commission for his/her efforts? I was a trustee and treasurer of a “yesomim” fund a generation ago and Reb Moshe Feinstein zt’l was our posek whenever we had questions (and there were many, many questions – with just one fund for one family), and Reb Dovid Feinstein ylc’t took over that role after Reb Moshe’s passing. Who is your posek? And what is the succession plan for your posek? For that matter, what is the succession plan for the leadership of Areivim; an important component for programs being set up that will operate for decades.

I found two Areivim websites http://www.areivim.info/ and http://www.kolyisraelareivim.org. Are they the same organization? They seem like two different organizations. Please clarify that.

Does Areivim have any mechanism for grievances – where does one go if he/she feels mistreated? Your website notes that Areivim is a “Project of the Va’ad HaRabbonim.” How involved are Va’ad members in the Areivim program and who are the rabbonim? I also saw that Kupat Ha’ir is a sponsor of Areivim. Is Kupat Ha’ir the same as Va’ad Harabbonim? Are they different Rabbonim than those on the Va’ad HaRabbonim? They seem to use the same advertizing format. Are they two organizations or one? Kindly clarify that as well.

Regarding the actual coverage of the insurance; do you consider Areivim’s benefits to be “guaranteed” or not? Is the Areivim program intended to replace or supplement commercial life insurance programs? In other words, do you recommend that people take life insurance policies in addition to Areivim or not? My reading of the rules indicates that if one’s children are covered by life insurance, there are no Areivim benefits paid. How does this work, and why are we punishing people for being responsible?

I found the financial model, which does not allow for much in the way of wiggle room, to be very unsettling to say the least, and I have no confidence whatsoever that you will be able to meet your obligations, despite your best intentions. A simple run of the numbers raises concerns. If there are 16,000 subscribers, the maximum amount of money you can raise in one year is approximately $5.4 million ($28 x 12 x 16,000 = $5,376,000). If you divide that by $100,000 (the benefit to each yosom or almanah) that means 54 beneficiaries per year. If you assume five beneficiaries per family (a relatively conservative estimate be’h in our population), that means that the program could only support ten deaths (c”v) per year. Is that a sound estimate? What happens if more than ten men (c”v) pass away in one year, if the average number of children is much higher than five, or if you are unable to collect the $28 per month from each of the members?

What happens if not enough people (16,000) are subscribed (how are people covered if there is less income)? Who is processing all the credit card transactions, and what happens when people cancel their credit cards, or can’t make payments because they lost their jobs? (I suggest that you ask the executive director of any yeshiva what percentage of tuition goes uncollected each year; and that is with a service being provided directly to their family.) Where in the budget is there money for all the ads and marketing? And if that is coming from your collections, there will be a huge hole when you need to make payments.

Each child is to get a $100,000 fund set up for the wedding expenses and until then checks are cut for interest or income from that fund. Well; if the money is invested in “safe” vehicles such as CD’s or treasury notes, we are looking at 2-5% a year – at best a few hundred dollars a month; which is basically milk money. And anything with a higher return involves risk. Is Areivim comfortable in investing where there are higher returns with more risk?

There is no mention of any professionals in your publicity. I consider myself to be moderately knowledgeable about life insurance – for a layman. But I wouldn’t dream of designing or overseeing a project like this because I am way out of my league. Have you consulted with a team of actuaries to crunch the numbers, a legal team to wade through the many legal issues (and there are many of them), accountants to determine the tax deductibility of donations (your contributors are getting a benefit after all) and how the payments will be made in a legal manner; the list goes on and on? And if these are questions raised by an am ha’aretz like myself, just imagine how many dozens of question would arise should you assemble the professionals noted above.

Then there is the whole issue of health and preconditions. Professional life insurance companies require medical exams. You ask for a written note than the members are in good health. Who determines that, in the event of a payout? Could you just imagine what a mess there will be when conflicts arise in this area? And the fuzziness of your criteria is a sure-fire recipe for confusion and conflict.

Finally, on a very personal level, as one who lost my father before my 4th birthday, I find the emotional ramifications of Areivim horrifying to say the least and it was this angle which motivated me to write these lines in the first place.

My mother once remarked to me that in addition to all the other components of the tragedy of my father’s passing, she felt that with his death she lost her privacy, as well intentioned people all around her felt free to comment on her personal life. Well; can you imagine how things would be if our family would have been supported by 16,000 credit card swipes? How would she have felt having to wait for someone in an office to cut her an interest check each month, and for a Rav to approve that each of her three children were destitute enough to warrant a $100,000 fund in his/her name? I was a very wild kid growing up and you know how cruel kids can be sometimes. Can you imagine being taunted in the playground about these financial matters after a fistfight?

Reb Yoel; to sum up, I got a headache writing these lines just thinking about all the complications of this program and the challenges that could arise. I cannot in good conscience recommend this program, and in the strongest terms recommend that parents take commercial life insurance. $28 per month should buy north of $500,000 of term life insurance that has security, privacy, and avoids all the complications noted above.

In many ways, your noble efforts remind me of what similarly well-meaning people did years ago with allegations of child abuse – turning their backs on a one-step solution that would have taken advantage of the “systems” in the general population (call the police) and instead created complicated mechanisms instead (a va’ad to oversee abusers) comprised of people with no training in the field. And you know how that one turned out.

I humbly suggest that you throw your efforts into assisting families in their efforts to purchase commercial life insurance along the lines of a very successful campaign currently run in BMG of Lakewood. It is my sense that balei batim will be glad to assist with this endeavor.

As we discussed, I am submitting this list of questions and concerns to you directly and privately in order to allow you time to formulate responses to them. Once I receive your response, I will post my questions and your responses simultaneously on my website and invite my readers to open a dialogue with you in a respectful and productive manner.

I give you my word that I will keep an open mind despite my concerns, and will weigh your responses carefully before I write a full essay on this subject which I plan on publishing in the near future.

It is my sincere hope that Areivim will emerge from this process stronger and better positioned to serve the needs of our community.

B’yedidus,

Yakov

MR. YOEL BOCHNER’S RESPONSE

Dear Rabbi Horowitz,

We are grateful for your interest and the insightful points you raise, and appreciate the opportunity to respond and dispel some of the misconceptions and confusion surrounding our work.

Your reputation as someone who works tirelessly for progress and change in our community, refusing to accept ‘because that’s the way it always done’ as a reason for stagnation, makes us confident that, if you take the time to study our plan, you will share our vision.

In addition, your touching personal note about your own childhood underscores the importance of what we’re doing: sparing other humiliation and inconvenience

It would be cynical and unfair to assume that KYA is ‘just another’ activist organization when, in a sense, we have entirely rewritten the way things are done.

Not content with mere figurehead rabbinic figures, the rabbanim affiliated with us are involved, investing time, energy and heart in this project, one which has become a priority to them.

The rabbanim in question are representative of all the various streams within yahadus hacharedis, chassidim, litvishe, Sephardim and Ashkenazim.

Please note that the rabbanim to not ‘endorse’ us, or promise to daven for people who help us- they are us! Every single rov is already a part of- or will be a part of- our work and they are the prime catalysts for our success.

In America, the names of Rav Mechel Steinmetz and Rav Benzion Strasser on signed on to the account, and we have hundreds of other rabbanim in communities across America.

You see, Rabbi Horowitz, the rabbanim are our greatest allies because they know better than anyone else just how broken the old system was, and how workable this one is.

They are the ones that were faced with the bitter daily task of hearing the tales of pain from new almanos, the accounts of orphans in a home bereft of a breadwinner.

There was a time before people grew numb, when it was still possible to appeal to the masses and hope to touch their hearts; unfortunately, as tragedy followed tragedy, people- even in a nation of rachmanim- grew a little less sensitive to the relentless onslaught of tzaros.

The ‘keren’ system, in which the rabbanim formed special accounts for each needy family, was no longer an effective way to galvanize the people and raise the necessary amounts of money.

Rabbi Horowitz, you- correctly- mention the humiliation of the young orphans that are fully aware of their new status as ‘wards of state’.

Imagine the shame of young children who are forced to ‘pose’ for the pictures that will be emblazoned on the walls and shuls of their hometown? Is there anywhere to run from such pain?

We came into being due to original and creative thinking by the rabbanim and askanim involved in these wrenching situations. You, Rabbi Horowitz, raise valid points about how it ought to have been done, in an ideal world, but these dedicated individuals are working within the parameters of reality, well aware of the limitations of people.

You know the numbers- each head of family commits themselves to three dollars per orphan, in the sad scenario of a parent’s death.

Three dollars per member – based on a group of 16,500 people in the group- per yassom equals fifty thousand dollars per child.

A lot of rules and regulations were put in place to assure that the system can work out.

The idea gathered steam, and in America- where, unfortunately, tragedy is no stranger- askanim wanted a similar program. The ‘keren’ system stopped working here as well, and the embarrassing newspaper campaigns, even those that attempt to maintain the anonymity of the recipient, often cause great collateral damage.

The lay leaders that created the American model felt that fifty thousand dollars per child was insufficient for this country, and changed the numbers- six dollars per child would equal one hundred thousand dollars per child. We were welcomed by the heads of virtually every single communal organization- Agudas Yisroel, Young Israel, Orthodox Union, Chabad and various other communities.

The terms and condition were drafted by a team of accountants and actuaries, working pro bono for a cause that was placed at the forefront of the communal agenda by rabbanim.

Rabbi Horowitz, before we delineate the details, allow us to respond to your overriding concern; why not get people to purchase conventional life insurance?

The question is a good one. Kol Yisroel Areivim is not an insurance policy and we encourage every person who can purchase a standard policy to do so. The more they invest, the more their families stand to receive in the event of tragedy, c’v.

Now, for the numbers. In order for a life insurance policy to really make a difference, it would need to provide a minimum $250,000.00 per child. This is based upon the need for $15,000.00 per year per child.

The maximum return on money, with no risk, is 2.5 per year, which means that the profit on $250,000.00 is $6,250.00 per year. The remainder of the money per child would need to come off the ‘keren’ for each of the ten years, and thus the 2.5 percent yield will decrease proportionately as well.

This option is an expensive one, and a great many frum families cannot afford the monthly payments in a budget weighed down by mortgage, food, tuition and car payments. Bear in mind that this type of policy is only for ten years and one would need to purchase it at a young age in order to get such a favorable rate.

As the age of a breadwinner increases, and health concerns arise, the price rises as well, and often those who need it most cannot afford it. In addition, so often the payout of several hundred thousand dollars is not nearly enough and then the families must resort to the benevolence of the community regardless.

As mentioned, Kol Yisroel Areivim fills a void not in theory- where everyone should have life insurance- but in practice, where many people do not. In fact, even if the deceased did have life insurance, but with a plan that gives less than one hundred thousand dollars per child, Kol Yisroel Areivim fills the gap.

The rabbanim and lay leaders at our head have drafted regulations that ensure that no individual has excessive power and to maintain accountability and fairness.

• The KYA Policy is open to all members of Klal Yisroel.

• All policies will be reviewed by a board of rabbanim and policy acceptance is contingent upon their approval.

• The rov of the shul where the deceased was a member, of a rov closely associated with the family, will oversee the transfer of funds and ensure that the needs of each individual child are met.

• The account is opened in the name of the surviving parents and the family rov, as well as a family guardian to ensure that the money is used or invested wisely.

• Kol Yisroel Areivim reserves the right to have applicants fill out a medical questionnaire that will determine eligibility. In the event that the questionnaire was filled out incorrectly, KYA reserves the right to terminate the agreement. Funds that were paid out must be refunded.

• Any issues that arise will be dealt with by the rabbinical board of KYA or its authorized arbitrator. Their decisions will be final.

• In the event of a member’s passing, the agreed-upon fees will be collected from the group’s members. The funds will then be used to establish a trust for the children of the deceased. In the event that the group is complete ,with 16,500 members, the amount will be one hundred thousand dollars per child. If the group is incomplete, there will be a minimum payment of fifty thousand dollars per child

• The amount collected is $6.00 per orphan, with a maximum total of $288.00 per year.

• If the charge does not go through for a period of ninety days, membership will be terminated.

• The money should ideally be allocated for major expenses, such as tuition or marriage, but the rov assigned to the family will be the ultimate arbiter.

• Since this fund is meant as an opportunity give tzedaka, in a respectful fashion, to almanos and yesomim, no fund will be established for people that have life insurance in place, or a sufficient sum in cash/assets to render them ineligible of receiving communal assistance.

• Within the organization there is no single individual that has excessive control over the money.

• The office is run by five askanim that do the office and technical work,and each individual case is assigned one overseer from the central office. These people are efficient and knowledgeable and available to discuss any case or answer questions.

Obviously, there are others that wish to copy the success of our model, and it would serve the best interests of the klal if we could unite and join forces. For various reasons, this is not the case, however.

Our appeals are never based upon the drama of painting heartbreaking scenarios and thus using fear and guilt to convince the people. We much prefer to share the facts in an intelligent, clear fashion and respect the ability of people to make intelligent decisions.

Rabbi Horowitz, we are most grateful for your interest and for taking the time to study our plan and its benefits. Your willingness to ask hard questions is testimony to your concern for Klal Yisroel, and thus, it makes you a most fitting partner for our work. It is gratifying that there are people such as yourself that are realistic enough to recognize the potential problems, yet still hopeful enough to encourage positive change.

Respectfully,

Yoel Bochner


More of today's headlines

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1

 May 17, 2010 at 01:31 PM Use Your Head Says:

As usual Rabbi Horowitz is on the mark. Life insurance already exists with a mature and well-established industry. Small-scale attempts to reinvent this complex wheel may be paved with great intentions, but face a formidable challenge.

2

 May 17, 2010 at 01:43 PM Anonymous Says:

I've read the literature in some detail. The numbers don't work. I really would love to see the actuarial analysis this organization has performed so they can demonstrate that this is not a ponzi scheme. The math in this letter doesn't really work.

3

 May 17, 2010 at 01:44 PM Anonymous Says:

This is such a blatant scam, I cannot believe anyone take it seriously. Even a small term life insurance policy would be more sensible for the target audience than this "shell game" with the rules determined by some rabbinical cronies of the organizer. I would hope this never gets off the ground or if it does, it will make Dwek look like a tzadik.

4

 May 17, 2010 at 01:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Mark my words - in 4/5 years, this program would go bankrupt siting too many claims, and the "five askanim" will be the only benefactors.

Sorry for sounding pessimistic, but most of R. Horowitz's great questions were not answered, and rather diverted in a roundabout way. A for Effort, but I'm not fooled.

Get term life insurance - and better yet, start a group policy, where the premiums will be even cheaper.

5

 May 17, 2010 at 01:47 PM egghead Says:

As usual rabbi horowitz you articulated beautifuly all the doubts I had about this program, however reb bochner on the other hand just rambles on and on without answering most of the questions satisfactory

6

 May 17, 2010 at 01:49 PM Anonymous Says:

I appreciate the questions and answers but still see no names and am still left with questions.

7

 May 17, 2010 at 01:49 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Use Your Head Says:

As usual Rabbi Horowitz is on the mark. Life insurance already exists with a mature and well-established industry. Small-scale attempts to reinvent this complex wheel may be paved with great intentions, but face a formidable challenge.

No, it does not, because many people just do not have it.

8

 May 17, 2010 at 01:50 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Use Your Head Says:

As usual Rabbi Horowitz is on the mark. Life insurance already exists with a mature and well-established industry. Small-scale attempts to reinvent this complex wheel may be paved with great intentions, but face a formidable challenge.

Life insurance is a for-profit business, use your head.

9

 May 17, 2010 at 01:53 PM Anonymous Says:

Areivim and kol yisroel are to different organisations Areivim is under Kupat hair And Kolyl yisroel is under Vaad harabbonim.

10

 May 17, 2010 at 01:54 PM Actuary Says:

A major problem not discussed above is the makeup of the group of 16K members. The system of collecting just enough premium to pay out any necessary death benefit requires that there will be a constant stream of new members to take over the premium-paying roles of the deceased members. These plans were actually common in the 1800s (some were precursors to today's life insurance companies) and this was a major issue- the early deaths were paid out properly but as the years progressed, there would be a steadily decreasing premium stream as more and more members died out.I applaud the intention of this program but like Rabbi Horowitz, I do not think it is viable.

11

 May 17, 2010 at 01:58 PM rescue Says:

I don't want to say this is a scam, but if it sounds like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck................... Bochner did not respond to almost all the specific questions posed and sounds like a politician answering questions.

12

 May 17, 2010 at 01:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

I've read the literature in some detail. The numbers don't work. I really would love to see the actuarial analysis this organization has performed so they can demonstrate that this is not a ponzi scheme. The math in this letter doesn't really work.

First Ponzi Scheam means when u take money from1 to invest and give it forsome 1 else in returned of his prior investment
this orginazation does not withold any money in thier accounts read curefully

13

 May 17, 2010 at 02:05 PM Anonymous Says:

So there are two competing orgenizations! How sad

14

 May 17, 2010 at 02:05 PM Common Sense Says:

Reply to #1  
Use Your Head Says:

As usual Rabbi Horowitz is on the mark. Life insurance already exists with a mature and well-established industry. Small-scale attempts to reinvent this complex wheel may be paved with great intentions, but face a formidable challenge.

BH

I find the reply of Mr. Buchner is insufficient to the questions raised by Rabbi Horowitz. He address all his concerns but does not respond to any of them. He lists a lot of information irrelevant to this conversation. Let me re-irritate the points Rabbi Horrowitz raises and lets see maybe someone can dispute them respectfully.

#1 The current model of Areivem, 16,000 members cannot cover more than 50 orphans. Is that enough?

#2 Who is their Rabbonim, (not who signed on or endorsed), who? Give us names.

#3 Who has oversight? Is there any transparency?

#4 Why are they punishing people who buy life insurance that is less than what is needed, (250,000 per child according to Mr. Buchner)

Last but not least, I was charged THREE times this year, while never being charged in the previous years. What happened, is there a epidemic among the members, or is someone inning his pockets?

15

 May 17, 2010 at 02:07 PM Yitz Says:

How does Areivim work?

16

 May 17, 2010 at 02:09 PM Anonymous Says:

wow. 30 hours before kabbolas hatorah (in nyc) and the cynicism is out. I'm sure all of you are doing more for Klal Yisrael by sitting on the internet all day instead of trying to help almonos and yesomim. Life insurance costs hundreds per year assuming you are totally healthy and only goes up in price. Areivim costs nothing unless someone dies r"l and you get the added benefit of giving tzedaka. Most people will not get this instead of life insurance, they wouldn't have gotten anything (right or wrong). Just chill out everyone and let some people do a chessed!!! (may we never need them)

17

 May 17, 2010 at 02:11 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

This is such a blatant scam, I cannot believe anyone take it seriously. Even a small term life insurance policy would be more sensible for the target audience than this "shell game" with the rules determined by some rabbinical cronies of the organizer. I would hope this never gets off the ground or if it does, it will make Dwek look like a tzadik.

the numbers is simple take out your calculator 16,500 X 6 equals to $99,000.00 what do you mean the numbers still dont match up ?
and about names Please read it all you will find every thing you atre looking for
and yet please look into the 2 different Programs KYA (Kol Yisrael Areivim) www.kolyisraelareivim.org - Vaad Harabbanim and www.areivim.info by Kupat Huir the difference speaks for it self KYA is worked out and names mentioned in the letter fromYoel Bochner I havent seen any attack on Kupat Huir that didnt respond at all to Rabbi Horowitz's questions
the Names under the letter is Rabbi Michal Steinmetz Shlit"a (Skever Dyan), and Rabbi Benzion Shtrasser Shlit"s (Viner Dyan) people read carefully every word says a point i have read it again and again i advise you to do the same before u make any elligations

18

 May 17, 2010 at 02:20 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
rescue Says:

I don't want to say this is a scam, but if it sounds like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck................... Bochner did not respond to almost all the specific questions posed and sounds like a politician answering questions.

did u even read what he was writing ?
he did answer each and every 1 ask which question it was not answer i will reply with quote on quote

19

 May 17, 2010 at 02:21 PM Anonymous Says:

Im A member of Areivim and i think that its a great program its A achedus its בדרך כבוד its doesn't cost anything only if any strikes in the group I think that every one should sing up 1866 727 3484

20

 May 17, 2010 at 02:22 PM Anonymous Says:

Powerful thought out questions. Very meek answers that simply don't address each issue.

21

 May 17, 2010 at 02:29 PM Right Says:

Very interesting article, it raises many questions I always had and I believe that everyone shoudl buy a life insurance (A term life insurance is not more expensive.)

Such an orgenization has much more overheads that will need to be covered, from where? even an efficient orgenization runs approximatelly with a 25% Budget allocated for fundraizing and overhead.

I don't mean to criticize the intentions of the organization, but I would clearly state to everyone. Don't rely on it! buy yourself a life insurance.

22

 May 17, 2010 at 02:29 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
Common Sense Says:

BH

I find the reply of Mr. Buchner is insufficient to the questions raised by Rabbi Horowitz. He address all his concerns but does not respond to any of them. He lists a lot of information irrelevant to this conversation. Let me re-irritate the points Rabbi Horrowitz raises and lets see maybe someone can dispute them respectfully.

#1 The current model of Areivem, 16,000 members cannot cover more than 50 orphans. Is that enough?

#2 Who is their Rabbonim, (not who signed on or endorsed), who? Give us names.

#3 Who has oversight? Is there any transparency?

#4 Why are they punishing people who buy life insurance that is less than what is needed, (250,000 per child according to Mr. Buchner)

Last but not least, I was charged THREE times this year, while never being charged in the previous years. What happened, is there a epidemic among the members, or is someone inning his pockets?

#1. the current model of Kol Yisrael Areivim is 16,500 each person pays for 1 Yusom $6.00 *16,500 = $99,000.00 per yusom no its never enough I wish they would be able to more but it covers the ppl that do not have life insurance
#2. read it clearly states R' Michel Steinmetz Shlita (Skver Dyen) , And Rabbi Benzion Shtrasser Shlit"s (Viner Dyan) and in th event of a tregity some place else the Ruv of the deceased family will become a signer
#3. every 1 can walk to the KYA office and get every thing they want to see no 1 like to be public when it comes to delicate matters like this but yes call into the office arrange a meeting with some 1 of the board all of the dacumentation will be shown
#4. Kol Yisrael Areivim is not a life insurance company in fact its a Tzadakah so if the Yusom is well protected why should some 1 else give Tzadakah for such a case
now read again Mr. bochner's letter you will see alll these answers
make no mistake there is 2 programms that look alike see the difference for your self reading both of them
Thanks

23

 May 17, 2010 at 02:29 PM shmiel glassman Says:

proud member since the beginning (& 2 life ins. polocies) for one reason its a reasonable way to give tzedaka & the " arvus" is important on a spiritual level - good questions yes- many of them with a bit of cynisism - a little "real" respect & not lip service /hope not to need it - reb yankel writing the letter is fine but this letter being posted is a publicity stunt attacking an org. - if this letter was sincere reb yankel couldve mailed it to the rabbonim that signed on & aske them to look into it " tzorech iyun gadol"

24

 May 17, 2010 at 02:30 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
Common Sense Says:

BH

I find the reply of Mr. Buchner is insufficient to the questions raised by Rabbi Horowitz. He address all his concerns but does not respond to any of them. He lists a lot of information irrelevant to this conversation. Let me re-irritate the points Rabbi Horrowitz raises and lets see maybe someone can dispute them respectfully.

#1 The current model of Areivem, 16,000 members cannot cover more than 50 orphans. Is that enough?

#2 Who is their Rabbonim, (not who signed on or endorsed), who? Give us names.

#3 Who has oversight? Is there any transparency?

#4 Why are they punishing people who buy life insurance that is less than what is needed, (250,000 per child according to Mr. Buchner)

Last but not least, I was charged THREE times this year, while never being charged in the previous years. What happened, is there a epidemic among the members, or is someone inning his pockets?

I was involved with one of the family's who passed away R"L its amazing with in a few mouth we got the money

25

 May 17, 2010 at 02:31 PM The Truth Says:

These alternative life insurance programs are great - if no one ever dies but over time, when they have to pay out more and more, it can not be a viable program.

In my opinion, the root of the problem, is that people in our chareidi communities are living way beyond their means - both because of lifestyle (tuition, mortgage, luxuries etc) & because of minimal income (Kollel, non-professional jobs, low-paying jobs, etc). Combine that with people generally not planning for the future, with little or no savings or retirement accounts and we have left ourselves in a situation living balanced on a tight-rope, hoping nothing will go wrong. These great moisdos are trying to provide a safety net to those who unfortunately will fall. I hope they can catch everyone but I fear that as another cog in the system, they will be overwhelmed & demand for help will outstrip supply.

It seems that its just another moisad trying -very impressively- using great marketing trying to get people to give to THEIR tzedoko organization. Yes the facts on the ground arn't meet the ideal situation and we have to be practical & deal with it the way it is but another band aid is never a long term solution.

26

 May 17, 2010 at 02:37 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

Areivim and kol yisroel are to different organisations Areivim is under Kupat hair And Kolyl yisroel is under Vaad harabbonim.

I hate to break the news to you but Vaad Harabonim and Kupat Hair are the same.

27

 May 17, 2010 at 02:37 PM yudel shain Says:

Rabbi Horowitz's on target questions were on target. The response was not convincing but rather confusing. Perhaps Rabbi Horowitz & the KYA heads & Rabonim can sit down together & see if it works (for the benefit of all). If it does work but it just wasn't explained right, let's not shoot darts.

28

 May 17, 2010 at 02:41 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Actuary Says:

A major problem not discussed above is the makeup of the group of 16K members. The system of collecting just enough premium to pay out any necessary death benefit requires that there will be a constant stream of new members to take over the premium-paying roles of the deceased members. These plans were actually common in the 1800s (some were precursors to today's life insurance companies) and this was a major issue- the early deaths were paid out properly but as the years progressed, there would be a steadily decreasing premium stream as more and more members died out.I applaud the intention of this program but like Rabbi Horowitz, I do not think it is viable.

this is the first Best point I've heard until now yes the answer is we do need a float of new members all the time but its not so hard to find these members to sponser $6.00 for a child left without his bread winner
this is not a problem here as the insurance companys are insuring the life span untill the person dies
Kol Yisrael Areivim is only giving the money as long there is chideren at home. so there is no issue of early or late death.

29

 May 17, 2010 at 02:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

So there are two competing orgenizations! How sad

yes there is 2 orgenizations and 1 makes it look bad for the other

30

 May 17, 2010 at 02:45 PM Anonymous Says:

The economic and actuarial model underlying this scheme is doomed to failure as there will be years in the short term that there will be insufficient funds available to pay out to an unusually high claims rate and over the long term, the cash flow in will not sustain payouts. It is also lacking in transparency and accountability since there is no oversight of the plan administration. Why can't yiddin avoid creating these black holes that are like "lifnei evair lo tetain michshol".

31

 May 17, 2010 at 02:48 PM 5T Grocery Store Says:

sales of the product are essential. we must proptect the pioples. my father died without life insurance..can you believe it...no life insurance... i had my mother get a job because things would have been very bad

32

 May 17, 2010 at 02:54 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

Mark my words - in 4/5 years, this program would go bankrupt siting too many claims, and the "five askanim" will be the only benefactors.

Sorry for sounding pessimistic, but most of R. Horowitz's great questions were not answered, and rather diverted in a roundabout way. A for Effort, but I'm not fooled.

Get term life insurance - and better yet, start a group policy, where the premiums will be even cheaper.

FYI this program is already older then 4/5 years and it didn't go bankrupt with too many claims

33

 May 17, 2010 at 02:55 PM ACTUARY Says:

Common sense rules the day. The numbers don't work, and every actuary that has been asked about it has said that it doesn't work. (There was an actuarial analysis on the orthonomics blog.) PLEASE just buy life insurance; sure the ins cos make some money, but they also get a lot more than a 2.5% return - so the buyer is still better off than under this scheme. And most important, upon death the family gets the money as opposed to having to make a case to the rabonim and askonim for each payment.

34

 May 17, 2010 at 02:56 PM Yossi Says:

So many questions and NO one has done anything only this group...Why dont we ask how many almunes and yesoymim have been saved by this program.? No one is asking from anyone his life savings..This can not be a ponzi scheme if they keep out paying out....I know of a almuneh who has been saved by this program and klal yisroel did not have to pick up the tab....I just wish Rabbi Horowitz should please ask every jewish home owner to make the minimum home owners policy in case chas veshulem a fire destroys their home and then need to make appeals in shul to refurnish them....Maybe we need areivim for fire disasters too....eep the great work up

35

 May 17, 2010 at 02:57 PM Anonymous Says:

It is not a scam and it is not a substitute for life insurance. It is a means of providing tzedakah for the families of those who do not have sufficient life insurance, without making a separate collection and mailing for that family.

No one should view it as a substitute for life insurance. View it as Tzedakah for Yesomim and Almonos. Obviously each person needs to decide for themselves where to give their Tzedakah to.

36

 May 17, 2010 at 03:04 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Actuary Says:

A major problem not discussed above is the makeup of the group of 16K members. The system of collecting just enough premium to pay out any necessary death benefit requires that there will be a constant stream of new members to take over the premium-paying roles of the deceased members. These plans were actually common in the 1800s (some were precursors to today's life insurance companies) and this was a major issue- the early deaths were paid out properly but as the years progressed, there would be a steadily decreasing premium stream as more and more members died out.I applaud the intention of this program but like Rabbi Horowitz, I do not think it is viable.

wow! what you described sounds just like Social Security!

37

 May 17, 2010 at 03:12 PM Anonymous Says:

More questions than answers remain.

Worst of all, all signatories waive their right to sue the organization in a court of law. Is this for real???

38

 May 17, 2010 at 03:13 PM Anonymous Says:

Here is what I am wondering, if this is such a great program has it been re-insured?

If they are able to demonstrate that the program has been re-insured by a multinational re-insurer that means a real insurance company has validated their assumptions.

39

 May 17, 2010 at 03:34 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

Areivim and kol yisroel are to different organisations Areivim is under Kupat hair And Kolyl yisroel is under Vaad harabbonim.

So who is Kupat ha'ir and who is Vaad harabbonim? Also, why are there two organizations? KYA answers that, others had wished "to copy the success of our model" but they admit that "it would serve the best interests of the klal if we could unite and join forces" and "for various reasons, this is not the case, however". So the question remains Far Voos Takeh Nisht? Who doesn't have the best interests of the klal? Why have two organizations? What happens if someone is a member of both? Will he be worse off if then he would have been a member of none?

40

 May 17, 2010 at 03:41 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

Areivim and kol yisroel are to different organisations Areivim is under Kupat hair And Kolyl yisroel is under Vaad harabbonim.

I am not satisfied; neither by the questions nor by the answers, both while well written and well intentioned don’t treat the subject fairly.

The answer by KYA leaves a lot to be desired, including my above observation as to why can’t they unite? The question isn’t either fair because 1) instead of waiting for a response from KYA, it pre-concludes that life insurance is better and more feasible; something that KYA pointed out that it’s fallacious. 2) By throwing into the mix the child abuse issue it automatically makes people take sides based on someone’s opinion on the child abuse issue as it affects the leadership. This cannot help people debate this KYA issue fairly and squarely. Those are two different issues to most people.

41

 May 17, 2010 at 03:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

I appreciate the questions and answers but still see no names and am still left with questions.

He mentioned two names.

42

 May 17, 2010 at 03:44 PM areivim member Says:

ok so what they dont tell you is that the spouse doesnt get a payout if there is less than 4 children. so if theres a family of 3 only the kids get 100k each. also they do not make payments to any child of the deceased if said child is over the age of 28 yrs old. this program is not a replacement for life insurance by any means, but if you are like me and cannot afford the monthly premiums of life insurance and have young children in the house it's a good idea.

43

 May 17, 2010 at 03:45 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #16  
Anonymous Says:

wow. 30 hours before kabbolas hatorah (in nyc) and the cynicism is out. I'm sure all of you are doing more for Klal Yisrael by sitting on the internet all day instead of trying to help almonos and yesomim. Life insurance costs hundreds per year assuming you are totally healthy and only goes up in price. Areivim costs nothing unless someone dies r"l and you get the added benefit of giving tzedaka. Most people will not get this instead of life insurance, they wouldn't have gotten anything (right or wrong). Just chill out everyone and let some people do a chessed!!! (may we never need them)

I agree with you. Why do we always need to criticize? You want to make it better, fine; but why tear down a good thing?

44

 May 17, 2010 at 03:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Rabbi is Horowitz is 100% Right, this orgnazation should be abolished, it may be illegal to solict in the US, it encourages young people not to buy Life Insurance and there is No Guarantee that they will be around in 15-20 years from now, almost all young people could afford plenty of Term Insurance

45

 May 17, 2010 at 03:51 PM rescue Says:

Reply to #18  
Anonymous Says:

did u even read what he was writing ?
he did answer each and every 1 ask which question it was not answer i will reply with quote on quote

"Is that a sound estimate? What happens if more than ten men (c”v) pass away in one year, if the average number of children is much higher than five, or if you are unable to collect the $28 per month from each of the members? "
Where's the answer. Additionally, broad answers usually means avoidance of the issues. When Rabbi H. asked if lawyers and accountants were involved and specific issues were addressed the answer was yes, not yes and these issues were specifically addressed and it was concluded that ..........

46

 May 17, 2010 at 03:51 PM Caution Says:

Rabbi H is right on target with his questions and hestitations. The answers supplied are vague and my gut tells me this is a very atypical deal that should be avoided.

47

 May 17, 2010 at 03:53 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #30  
Anonymous Says:

The economic and actuarial model underlying this scheme is doomed to failure as there will be years in the short term that there will be insufficient funds available to pay out to an unusually high claims rate and over the long term, the cash flow in will not sustain payouts. It is also lacking in transparency and accountability since there is no oversight of the plan administration. Why can't yiddin avoid creating these black holes that are like "lifnei evair lo tetain michshol".

If you think this program involves holding money to invest it, you don't understand the program.

48

 May 17, 2010 at 03:53 PM Anonymous Says:

WHAT IS EVERYONE'S ISSUE - this is a Tzedaka - not life insurance!! It only applies to specific situations - it's not a ponzi scheme. If you have issues - DEAL WITH IT PRIVATELY! why in the world is this public?

49

 May 17, 2010 at 03:54 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #33  
ACTUARY Says:

Common sense rules the day. The numbers don't work, and every actuary that has been asked about it has said that it doesn't work. (There was an actuarial analysis on the orthonomics blog.) PLEASE just buy life insurance; sure the ins cos make some money, but they also get a lot more than a 2.5% return - so the buyer is still better off than under this scheme. And most important, upon death the family gets the money as opposed to having to make a case to the rabonim and askonim for each payment.

It worked until now, why shouldn't it in the future. See #32

50

 May 17, 2010 at 03:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #37  
Anonymous Says:

More questions than answers remain.

Worst of all, all signatories waive their right to sue the organization in a court of law. Is this for real???

Why would you want to sue? Whom do you want to sue? They're right, people who even have a haveh amina to sue shouldn't be allowed to join. This is not a company, when you sue you are suing almoness and yesoimim.

51

 May 17, 2010 at 04:03 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #44  
Anonymous Says:

Rabbi is Horowitz is 100% Right, this orgnazation should be abolished, it may be illegal to solict in the US, it encourages young people not to buy Life Insurance and there is No Guarantee that they will be around in 15-20 years from now, almost all young people could afford plenty of Term Insurance

This should not be about Rabbi Horowitz being right, only about each question individually on its merit if it is right or wrong. Big mistake that the questions and answers have people behind it.

52

 May 17, 2010 at 04:22 PM The Truth Says:

"• The rov of the shul where the deceased was a member, of a rov closely associated with the family, will oversee the transfer of funds and ensure that the needs of each individual child are met. "

- Who are these Rabbonim? Do they know that they have this huge responsibility or are they assumed to take responsibility?

"• The office is run by five askanim that do the office and technical work, and each individual case is assigned one overseer from the central office. These people are efficient and knowledgeable and available to discuss any case or answer questions."

- Who are the 5 Askanim in 'The Office'? What is 'the central office' and who runs it? Why the need for 2 offices?

"• The KYA Policy is open to all members of Klal Yisroel.
...
• Since this fund is meant as an opportunity give tzedaka, in a respectful fashion, to almanos and yesomim, no fund will be established for people that have life insurance in place, or a sufficient sum in cash/assets to render them ineligible of receiving communal assistance. "

- So its open to everyone, unless you have a real life insurance policy or we unnamed " rabbanim and lay leaders at our head", decide you are not eligible.

Hmmm.

53

 May 17, 2010 at 04:28 PM No Doubt Says:

If this organization is connected in any way to Kupat Ha'ir or Va'ad HaRabbonim, no further investigation is required: It's 100% crooked.

54

 May 17, 2010 at 04:31 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #50  
Anonymous Says:

Why would you want to sue? Whom do you want to sue? They're right, people who even have a haveh amina to sue shouldn't be allowed to join. This is not a company, when you sue you are suing almoness and yesoimim.

How about if one is a Yasom and is denied the benefits. Unfairly.

55

 May 17, 2010 at 04:38 PM KYA Says:

can some 1 write a question what was not answered with in the lines of R' Yoel Bochner?

56

 May 17, 2010 at 04:40 PM actuary Says:

Reply to #49  
Anonymous Says:

It worked until now, why shouldn't it in the future. See #32

"It worked until now, why shouldn't it in the future"

1) We have no idea if it has worked until now. There are no books, no audited financial statements, and in fact no big payouts until marriage.
2) There is something called the "Law of Large Numbers" which I will not get into except to say that just because something works for a small amount of time (and again, I have no idea if this has, and neither do you) , does not mean it will do so for longer.

I have much to say on the topic though most of it has been covered on the orthonomics web site. NO, I do not think these people are scam artists; they are well-intentioned but inept. And I wish they could name ONE actuary (let alone a team) that thinks this thing can work long term.

57

 May 17, 2010 at 04:41 PM Use Your Head Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

Life insurance is a for-profit business, use your head.

Right, as are most businesses - well, at least the ones that tend to stay in business. What's wrong with making a profit by helping people? I'd rather buy life insurance from a successful company with a proven track record of making healthy profits and staying in business, than from a new "organization" that may not be around (or financially solvent) when it comes time to pay the piper.

58

 May 17, 2010 at 04:43 PM Anonymous Says:

I do not know their model, but per SS the chance of dying at age 30 is 0.1454%. Assuming (everyone on this program is 30) this based on a population of 16,500 the average deaths a year would be 24. If on average there are 3 dependent's the yearly payout would be about $7,200,000. Based on the current contribution of $28 per month that covers $5,544,000. So this is a bit short.

Now there are several things I wonder about. Even if you want to think the life expectancy in the jewish community is higher than the national average so that the benefits should not be a problem to pay out given the figures I just described, I would imaging that the average age of the policyholder's would be higher. If their are policyholders in their 40's the rates really start shooting up. Secondly I suggested an average of 3 dependents, I would imaging the average dependents are higher. (if you increase the average risk of death to 0.02021% and average dependents to 5, the payout is $16,700,000 with collected funds of only $5,544,000).

It seems to me without full transparency I would have to seriously wonder whether this policy is feasible.

59

 May 17, 2010 at 04:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #35  
Anonymous Says:

It is not a scam and it is not a substitute for life insurance. It is a means of providing tzedakah for the families of those who do not have sufficient life insurance, without making a separate collection and mailing for that family.

No one should view it as a substitute for life insurance. View it as Tzedakah for Yesomim and Almonos. Obviously each person needs to decide for themselves where to give their Tzedakah to.

The problem is that many who sign up Do think of it as a subsitute to Life Insurance

60

 May 17, 2010 at 04:47 PM Kollel Guy Says:

this is like the same program running in eretz yisroel and is working good. dont know why so many people here are dissing.

61

 May 17, 2010 at 04:49 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #39  
Anonymous Says:

So who is Kupat ha'ir and who is Vaad harabbonim? Also, why are there two organizations? KYA answers that, others had wished "to copy the success of our model" but they admit that "it would serve the best interests of the klal if we could unite and join forces" and "for various reasons, this is not the case, however". So the question remains Far Voos Takeh Nisht? Who doesn't have the best interests of the klal? Why have two organizations? What happens if someone is a member of both? Will he be worse off if then he would have been a member of none?

Rav Kaniefsky's son said" That Kupat Hair" has no business printing and inserting four color solicitations. He said it is a waste of tzeddakah gelt. He did not say it is a bad organization, it is just the people get carried away with expenses. Any relatives in the printing business? Look how much $$ goes to the administration of Ohel and HASC you could throw up. Enrich the few, by pulling on the heart and purse strings of Klal Yisroel.

62

 May 17, 2010 at 04:52 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

This is such a blatant scam, I cannot believe anyone take it seriously. Even a small term life insurance policy would be more sensible for the target audience than this "shell game" with the rules determined by some rabbinical cronies of the organizer. I would hope this never gets off the ground or if it does, it will make Dwek look like a tzadik.

I am amused by your suggestion of a Ponzi scheme when funds are only taken from members after the passing of a member. At that point allocated. This is actually closer to the original mutual insurance policies of yore. Is there anything with the word Rabbi in it that you don't automatically find repulsive?

63

 May 17, 2010 at 05:03 PM Another Actuary Says:

I work for a large life insurance company and even though we have hundreds of billions in reserves and assets under our control, we still spread our risk amongst other insurance companies through re-insurance.

Additionally, we have a huge underwriting department. A non-smoker with a perfect driving record and computer programming job should not pay the same premium as a smoker who washes the windows on skyscrapers and has his drivers license suspended 3 times in the past 10 years.

Every single policy holder is assigned a set of mortality tables based on smoker/ non-smoker and male/ female. Every single policy holder is further evaluated and given a factor that their table is multiplied by (starting from 1) that is dependant on prior history.

I am in no position to disagree with any of the people mentioned above but I think a better method would be for people to help fund the premiums going towards policies at established life insurance companies for those who may be short of cash when the premiums are due. (Maybe once a year, not on a monthly basis.)

64

 May 17, 2010 at 05:08 PM Common Sense Says:

Reply to #22  
Anonymous Says:

#1. the current model of Kol Yisrael Areivim is 16,500 each person pays for 1 Yusom $6.00 *16,500 = $99,000.00 per yusom no its never enough I wish they would be able to more but it covers the ppl that do not have life insurance
#2. read it clearly states R' Michel Steinmetz Shlita (Skver Dyen) , And Rabbi Benzion Shtrasser Shlit"s (Viner Dyan) and in th event of a tregity some place else the Ruv of the deceased family will become a signer
#3. every 1 can walk to the KYA office and get every thing they want to see no 1 like to be public when it comes to delicate matters like this but yes call into the office arrange a meeting with some 1 of the board all of the dacumentation will be shown
#4. Kol Yisrael Areivim is not a life insurance company in fact its a Tzadakah so if the Yusom is well protected why should some 1 else give Tzadakah for such a case
now read again Mr. bochner's letter you will see alll these answers
make no mistake there is 2 programms that look alike see the difference for your self reading both of them
Thanks

BH

Again, I am only trying to understand the responses.

#1 What happens if there is more than one child in a particular month, lets say, chas vshalom 6 or 7?

# 2 I understand that Rabbi Shteinmentz & Rabbi Shtrasser are signed on to the specific case accounts for distribution. Who has oversight on the receiving end to secure that all the money goes to a particular case and that no fictitious claims are made by KYA in order to collect more or that if their is insurance and less money is given to the recipient that less money is debited from the accounts?

#3 No one will ask to see their books, it's just not going to happen, they should post the information online. I understand their needs to some privacy and respect, but their is nothing embarrassing about being a recipient of an insurance fund, even when it's religious.

#4 While it is a Charity fund, it should make some sense. If anything less than $250,000 per child is not enough (according to Mr. Bochner) than why are they punishing people for buying insurance? They should give whatever they can afford, i.e. $100,000 even when their is insurance policy, as long is their is not $250,000 per child.

65

 May 17, 2010 at 05:09 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #54  
Anonymous Says:

How about if one is a Yasom and is denied the benefits. Unfairly.

Then you do the same as if your neighbor stole your money. Do you sue or do you go to Din Torah?

66

 May 17, 2010 at 05:10 PM insider Says:

No one is saying that Areivim is a scam. What is being said is that having life insurance is infinitely better. For $15 a month, a 30 year old man can have $500,000 insurance. That $15 is less than paying for two orphans (who will only get $200,000 together if they meet all of the conditions. For $15, you own almana (chas veshalom) and your own orpans (chas veshalom) will get $500,000, no questions asked and no conditions attached. There is no comparison - no contest. The insurance comapnies are regulated by law. Who regulates Areivim?????

67

 May 17, 2010 at 05:11 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #56  
actuary Says:

"It worked until now, why shouldn't it in the future"

1) We have no idea if it has worked until now. There are no books, no audited financial statements, and in fact no big payouts until marriage.
2) There is something called the "Law of Large Numbers" which I will not get into except to say that just because something works for a small amount of time (and again, I have no idea if this has, and neither do you) , does not mean it will do so for longer.

I have much to say on the topic though most of it has been covered on the orthonomics web site. NO, I do not think these people are scam artists; they are well-intentioned but inept. And I wish they could name ONE actuary (let alone a team) that thinks this thing can work long term.

How can you come to the conclusion that they're inept? Do you know them? Having fear is one thing, but to pass a verdict?

69

 May 17, 2010 at 05:24 PM To KYA Says:

Reply to #55  
KYA Says:

can some 1 write a question what was not answered with in the lines of R' Yoel Bochner?

“ can some 1 write a question what was not answered with in the lines of R' Yoel Bochner?”

Yes;
1-2) What happens if more than ten men (c”v) pass away in one year, if the average number of children is much higher than five, or if you are unable to collect the $28 per month from each of the members?

3-6) Have you consulted with a team of actuaries to crunch the numbers, a legal team to wade through the many legal issues (and there are many of them), accountants to determine the tax deductibility of donations (your contributors are getting a benefit after all) and how the payments will be made in a legal manner;

70

 May 17, 2010 at 05:28 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #55  
KYA Says:

can some 1 write a question what was not answered with in the lines of R' Yoel Bochner?

Is there another part to Mr. Bochner's letter? I haven't seen the answers to the questions I had, and which RYH's letter reflected:

1. Is this one organization or two?

2. Who are the rest of the rabbanim representing the broad spectrum he spoke of?

3. Who are the members of the Board?

4. Who are the CPAs and actuaries standing behind their projections?

Dialogue is wonderful, good and healthy. But evasiveness is not dialogue.

71

 May 17, 2010 at 05:32 PM anonymous Says:

Kudos to Rabbi Horowitz for addressing this head on. I received a flyer about this in the mail and read it through.....it sounded like a scam and I was disappointed that this is going around the Jewish community - that my fellow Jews would lower themselves to the level of the goyim scamming the vulnerable.......There was not one mention of any Rabbi or anyones name......If its trustworthy why isn't there more transparency. This man did not answer anything.......He mentioned two Rabbis and nothing specific about them.....I wonder if they know that their names are being used for this purpose....

72

 May 17, 2010 at 05:34 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #55  
KYA Says:

can some 1 write a question what was not answered with in the lines of R' Yoel Bochner?

KYA,

Why dont you take R' Horowitz letter and break it down by question and provide the answer "al rishoin rishoin etc."

I , and i am sure that many others, will be very intrested to know.

I would like to add to the other questions:

What will you do if RL you exceed the $288 per year.

What is the furmula to determine if someone does not need the money?

How old does a yosom have to be

73

 May 17, 2010 at 05:36 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #64  
Common Sense Says:

BH

Again, I am only trying to understand the responses.

#1 What happens if there is more than one child in a particular month, lets say, chas vshalom 6 or 7?

# 2 I understand that Rabbi Shteinmentz & Rabbi Shtrasser are signed on to the specific case accounts for distribution. Who has oversight on the receiving end to secure that all the money goes to a particular case and that no fictitious claims are made by KYA in order to collect more or that if their is insurance and less money is given to the recipient that less money is debited from the accounts?

#3 No one will ask to see their books, it's just not going to happen, they should post the information online. I understand their needs to some privacy and respect, but their is nothing embarrassing about being a recipient of an insurance fund, even when it's religious.

#4 While it is a Charity fund, it should make some sense. If anything less than $250,000 per child is not enough (according to Mr. Bochner) than why are they punishing people for buying insurance? They should give whatever they can afford, i.e. $100,000 even when their is insurance policy, as long is their is not $250,000 per child.

#1.its being rolled over to next month
#2. The Ruv where the deceased Davend is going to be the over sight of the recieving end
#3. according to what i understand there is no person what will back up such a big response and being bombarded online therefore the accountants and actueries that worked on did not want to pu there nemaes on it. however if any authority wants to look into it Bingo they are very welcome
#4. $100,000.00 can help push a wagen but its far from enough
However the burden will become to big and yes i do understand the amount of $250,000.00 but a keren of $100,000.00 per child is the nicest keren the public can provide

76

 May 17, 2010 at 05:49 PM Brian Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

Life insurance is a for-profit business, use your head.

Therefore?! A general rule: You get what you pay for, and when something is to good to be true, it is too good to be true. I'll stick with my term policy.

Let Rabbonim stick to their specialty; Torah, Avodah and gemilus chassodim. I believe these rabbonim are in over their heads. They master Torah, not such a sophisticated business. Running a Life Insurance company isn't like running a Starbucks type of company. G-D help us from any Chillul Hashem's that can come out of this.

77

 May 17, 2010 at 05:54 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #71  
anonymous Says:

Kudos to Rabbi Horowitz for addressing this head on. I received a flyer about this in the mail and read it through.....it sounded like a scam and I was disappointed that this is going around the Jewish community - that my fellow Jews would lower themselves to the level of the goyim scamming the vulnerable.......There was not one mention of any Rabbi or anyones name......If its trustworthy why isn't there more transparency. This man did not answer anything.......He mentioned two Rabbis and nothing specific about them.....I wonder if they know that their names are being used for this purpose....

Even Rabbi Horowitz wouldn't agree with you. Unlike you he doesn't think that it is a scam, and unlike you he doesn't doubt that the 2 Rabbi mentioned endorse it.

78

 May 17, 2010 at 06:10 PM Common Sense Says:

Reply to #73  
Anonymous Says:

#1.its being rolled over to next month
#2. The Ruv where the deceased Davend is going to be the over sight of the recieving end
#3. according to what i understand there is no person what will back up such a big response and being bombarded online therefore the accountants and actueries that worked on did not want to pu there nemaes on it. however if any authority wants to look into it Bingo they are very welcome
#4. $100,000.00 can help push a wagen but its far from enough
However the burden will become to big and yes i do understand the amount of $250,000.00 but a keren of $100,000.00 per child is the nicest keren the public can provide

BH

Thanks I appreciate your responses. Please explain the following two answers you have given.

#2 Who assures us that only when their is a real claim money is debited from the members account, since the name of the beneficiary is not provided.

#3 I do not see why and what they have to hide, if they are professionals? I mean, how do you expect the public to just "trust" an organization with no one to claim responsibility?

79

 May 17, 2010 at 08:21 PM MazelKGH Says:

Reply to #53  
No Doubt Says:

If this organization is connected in any way to Kupat Ha'ir or Va'ad HaRabbonim, no further investigation is required: It's 100% crooked.

Why would you say that? Please I really would like details. I have been a sponsor of Kupat Ha'ir for many years and whether coincidence (which I do not believe in) or not, it has *always* worked out for me.

80

 May 17, 2010 at 08:52 PM pupa yid Says:

Some points people miss is that the fund collects the money when the person dies and gives it to the kid when ut gets married who sits on the money till then?

Now I heard that if the family had life insurance they don't get the money from arevim so the question is who gets the money collected?

81

 May 17, 2010 at 08:52 PM Erliche Yid Says:

This is an absolute chutzpah from the
so called Rabbi Horowitz to smash an organization like Arivim with no prove and people left and right will cancel their membership, who will suffer only the orphans, this is Rishus without borders Shame on You Rabbi Horowitz

82

 May 17, 2010 at 09:29 PM My CPA Says:

Reply to #24  
Anonymous Says:

I was involved with one of the family's who passed away R"L its amazing with in a few mouth we got the money

If you endorse it why don't you put your name? You think an Anonymous endorsement is worth something..

83

 May 17, 2010 at 09:36 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #78  
Common Sense Says:

BH

Thanks I appreciate your responses. Please explain the following two answers you have given.

#2 Who assures us that only when their is a real claim money is debited from the members account, since the name of the beneficiary is not provided.

#3 I do not see why and what they have to hide, if they are professionals? I mean, how do you expect the public to just "trust" an organization with no one to claim responsibility?

#1.the Ruv what will be applied to the case makes sure that the case is real
#2. I do understand you question however its thier decision to make but make a test call into the office of KYA and ask them

84

 May 17, 2010 at 09:41 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #78  
Common Sense Says:

BH

Thanks I appreciate your responses. Please explain the following two answers you have given.

#2 Who assures us that only when their is a real claim money is debited from the members account, since the name of the beneficiary is not provided.

#3 I do not see why and what they have to hide, if they are professionals? I mean, how do you expect the public to just "trust" an organization with no one to claim responsibility?

the biggest mistake and confusion I see here between Kol Yisrael Areivim, and Areivim most questions and stupidy what is is being spilled out here is on behalf of Areivim not Kol Yisrael Areivim because I have read Mr. Bochner response and his numbers is different then 90% of what the commenters comment.
I have also seen answers on some 1 that asked pin poined questions what was answered to the points I assume this was Mr. Bochner's answer they are poinit to point. that commenter sayd before ask which question was not answer he will quote it from Mr. Bochner's response letter

85

 May 17, 2010 at 09:45 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #81  
Erliche Yid Says:

This is an absolute chutzpah from the
so called Rabbi Horowitz to smash an organization like Arivim with no prove and people left and right will cancel their membership, who will suffer only the orphans, this is Rishus without borders Shame on You Rabbi Horowitz

I dont think its a Chutzpah of Rabbi Horowitz raising his concerns he has all the right to ask his legitement arguments. I rather think that readers are not paying full atention to the respons they just like the dirt and politics behind every good thing that is out there

86

 May 17, 2010 at 10:07 PM term owner Says:

This areivim is a very good idea (dream) , and this orginization is just dreing a cup, my goal is to protect my familys future , without other pepole controling my family , for me term is peace of mind , its with the best life insurance company , its backed by ny state insurance dep. i belive if i love my wife and kids i should have term ins. for me with 2 kids arievim would not be any help, IF THERE IS PEPOLE NOT GETTING TERM BECAUSE THERE IS AREIVIM , MY OPINION IS THAT AREIVIM SHOULD BE CLOSED DOWN , the outcome of this this company will bring lots of tzures to kllal yisruel , everyone has their rights to choose their own way of protecting their family,

87

 May 17, 2010 at 10:10 PM Anonymous Says:

I'm a member they only take money after rm"l sombody passed away so you give $6.00 for a usim so what's the big deal and if you b"h have money or life insurance you gave tzdoka thank hasam that you could give unfortnly some people can't afford life insurance for varies reasons so they are members at arivim and they'll live gezinterheit up to 120 and marry of there children with nacas and if rm"l you have to give so be it

88

 May 17, 2010 at 10:10 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #82  
My CPA Says:

If you endorse it why don't you put your name? You think an Anonymous endorsement is worth something..

we did not discuss the endorsments we discussed the proffesional aspect of it

89

 May 17, 2010 at 10:16 PM wake up! Says:

Reply to #48  
Anonymous Says:

WHAT IS EVERYONE'S ISSUE - this is a Tzedaka - not life insurance!! It only applies to specific situations - it's not a ponzi scheme. If you have issues - DEAL WITH IT PRIVATELY! why in the world is this public?

Why not deal with privately? In case you didn't notice, in todays society, if things are not in the open then there is no reason to believe everything is clean. Scheme after scheme come out in the open and low and behold it was a scam all along. ALL organizations should have their books open to the public. You can then get an idea of who is involved and the kind of salaries they are making. I would certainly be so much more open to giving an organization which has their books open. I don't mean just their expenses like most of them do. EXACTLY who and how much is being spent on what. After all, what do they have to hide. I personally know of organizations which were going on for many years and found to very different from what they were claiming. I know of organizations which "waste" tons of money only to spend it in businesses which simply benefit themselves. Face reality! The evil inclanation of greed has taken over and people can't be trusted. Its a "nabach but its a fact"

90

 May 17, 2010 at 10:40 PM I Says:

READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS ON THE WEBSITE. IT IS FILLED WITH PROBLEMS. HERE ARE QUOTES BELOW

While they advertise it is open to "all of klal yisroel" it is only open to "Kollel men who learn Torah as their sole occupation, and men who work for a living while maintaining a torah observant home. They and/or their wives are eligible. This includes widows and divorcees who are Torah-observant." Why bother calling it Kol Yisroel?

"in the event that the number of the group’s members increases, and the agreement with the bank remains in effect, the sum charged to the group’s members will be decreased proportionally" THIS IS FALSE assuming the same percent of people always die your fee will remain the same.

"The program is designated only for orphans who are Torah-observant!" My son doesnt learn in Lake Wood, is he Torah Observant???

"Since it involves tzedaka money designated for the needy only, it is agreed that if an orphan has the financial capability to pay for living and wedding expenses (such as through inheritance and/or life insurance etc.), no fund will be established for him. (Or a partial fund will be established for him, to complete the sum of $50,000 - $100,000".....

91

 May 17, 2010 at 10:46 PM I Says:

Continuation
..."Since it involves tzedaka money designated for the needy only, it is agreed that if an orphan has the financial capability to pay for living and wedding expenses (such as through inheritance and/or life insurance etc.), no fund will be established for him. (Or a partial fund will be established for him, to complete the sum of $50,000 - $100,000, as explained in II).)" But you say above I could get insurance in addition to this program, now you are saying my child isnt eligible if I had insurance??

There are major issues with this program. I feel for those 14,000 (that they claim) that have signed up and are flushing away their moneys.

92

 May 17, 2010 at 10:51 PM anonymous Says:

Its a wonderful initiative of the program to put such efforts into securing financial security for the widowed and yisomim. However, Rabbi Horowitz raises some very valid and true concerns which opens the floor for improvement and better opportunities for the program. I am not an expert on the questions nor the answers and therefore do not seek to comment or judge either of them. It is rather the public that posts comments on this and other forums/sites that compels me to write this comment.
Though, there is always room for opinions, questions, concerns, comments or just simple open discussions for all the various topics discussed on this and other websites I always am taken aback at the disrespect shown in these comments. It is so shameful and disheartening to read the loath and disrespect for others, let alone for our rabbonim! Rabbi Horowitz's letter is the perfect example that teaches us so beautifully that we can agree to disagree RESPECTFULLY! Let us pick up on Rabbi Horowitz's positive style and keep posting respectfully! It will make the world a better place and these forums a definite more pleasant and enriching experience.

93

 May 17, 2010 at 11:28 PM Proper Actuarial Analysis and Investment Says:

The program is needed, because families that have no income have no insurable value, and likely can't get insurance from a company with a strong AM Best Rating, and with the best terms. That being said, Mr. Bochner, has not addressed the most difficult questions, how will the company be managed, even though it is a non-profit, to some extent it still needs to be managed like a for profit endeavor, if we are to making the endowment and premiums achieve maximum viability; once we have reached critical mass of 16,500 souls.

after the actuarial analysis let me make a suggestion related to the "growth" area of fund allocation and investment. The Wall Street Journal had an article recently about "death bonds." They should consider an investment in this asset class. It is a corporate fixed income bond with a higher coupon, because they don't have the "best," credit ratings, but they have an early redemption upon death with a beneficiary. If the bondholder dies early they can claim full maturity at time of death increasing the total IRR. If they don't die then there was still a substantial interest rate of better than 2.5%.

94

 May 18, 2010 at 12:45 AM Dave Says:

At best, this is a well intentioned bad idea.

95

 May 18, 2010 at 01:19 AM term owner Says:

Reply to #93  
Proper Actuarial Analysis and Investment Says:

The program is needed, because families that have no income have no insurable value, and likely can't get insurance from a company with a strong AM Best Rating, and with the best terms. That being said, Mr. Bochner, has not addressed the most difficult questions, how will the company be managed, even though it is a non-profit, to some extent it still needs to be managed like a for profit endeavor, if we are to making the endowment and premiums achieve maximum viability; once we have reached critical mass of 16,500 souls.

after the actuarial analysis let me make a suggestion related to the "growth" area of fund allocation and investment. The Wall Street Journal had an article recently about "death bonds." They should consider an investment in this asset class. It is a corporate fixed income bond with a higher coupon, because they don't have the "best," credit ratings, but they have an early redemption upon death with a beneficiary. If the bondholder dies early they can claim full maturity at time of death increasing the total IRR. If they don't die then there was still a substantial interest rate of better than 2.5%.

if these families have no income how will they pay the $288 per yr . i pay $760 a yr for 2 million in life ins. i dont get this arivim deal , this is just fardreing the yotzres this will cause pepole not to get any term , so they wont protect their family the right way , this is bad, hashem yishmor

96

 May 18, 2010 at 01:23 AM Anonymous Says:

While I too feel that many of rabbi horowtz's questions were not answered, and that the math is on shaky grounds, I don't see why are some readers making such a big deal: the way I look at it, this is basically a tzedakah fund for widows and orphans. For a few dollars a month you can help out a greaving family. So whAt if it will bankrupt in 10 years? So what if your own kids are illegible? This isnot an investment. It's taking all the various full page ads you already see in hamodia and yated every week, and letters you already recieve from various rabbeim in your kehillah setting up funds, and combining them in a more efficient, streamlined organization.
How bad can it be?
How much can you already loose?

97

 May 18, 2010 at 01:55 AM Joe Shmoe Says:

I dont know who this rabbi horowitz is! For me, and a real majority of people, we dont have any extra money to line the pockets of the insurance brokers! (Horrible way to attack, Mr. Horowitz) I do take your attack on an organization which does not look after your wrong sense of direction personally! Please post exactly how much money you make a year and how many kids you have to pay tuition for, food etc. it's just not possible for most people to make that kind of money.

Now Let me answer your questions.

1) which rabbonim are on top of it? going to the media is the wrong way to find out. the right way would be to inquire when purchasing this insurance (if you will). You really think that if I would be one of the rabbonim I'd be interested in fighting with people like you? I'd prefer to remain anonymous. (I'm not even talking of the well lined insurance brokers pockets support and money any rov backing this competition will lose)

2)We did have a way that DID WORK! People used to give much more tzedaka years ago BUT STOPPED When money hungry insurance companies jumped up to convince you to give them your money!
3) What about health insurance? other liability coverages?

98

 May 18, 2010 at 02:00 AM boki Says:

Reply to #26  
Anonymous Says:

I hate to break the news to you but Vaad Harabonim and Kupat Hair are the same.

you don't know what you are talking about. they are two different organizations

99

 May 18, 2010 at 02:06 AM joe shmoe Says:

I dont go for life insurance, 1) I dont have the money for it. 2) I dont go for the "you can lock in such a good price" (when I pass a mercedes leasing co. I dont just purchase a car cause "I can lock in a good price") 3) I dont have a good health insurance policy yet, am I really trying to ensure that if I get too sick I should die in peace rather then have a chance to get well? (just cause the real money lining insurance salesmen (thats exactly what they are, not financial planners, not brokers! SALESMEN! they will kill you for calling them this name) 4) I'm far from ensuring my life, (tuition, marriage, food etc.) will not have to shnur, should I rather worry about my after death? 4) Bigot! this is the place to ask these questions! If I would be the rebbe, I'd assur putting my name on the internet! lest bums like you will be on my back! your publishing on the internet proves your horrible intent.

Last but not least,
5) this is a real tzedaka and people will step up to donate for this worthy org.

100

 May 18, 2010 at 03:10 AM yankel Says:

i have 4 million insurance on myself and 3mm on my wife, i earn 200k and have 7 kids, i signed up for one of these org. as a tzadakeh, i paid $28. a few month ago and now i got a text to pay another $ 56.00, after finding out about the other org, i am thinking of joining the other org. as well. issues that i have with these org. after being discussed, y does a medical condition person not get the benefits, they should be the first one getting as they cant get insurance from a life ins. co., wouldn't that be real tzadokeh. and even a irresponsible person not getting insurance, why should his kids suffer, is it charity or its insurance. 2. with each brochure there should be a flyer talking about real term life insurance pricing and explaining how important and affordable it is, sounds to me that the people running it really don't care about people buying life insurance... plus all the points that rabbi h. talks about r gr8 points , death benefit tax, supervision, family privacy,( although i have a fam. member that lost her house after a divorce to a good investment on a cousins partnership....)etc, to b continued..

101

 May 18, 2010 at 03:12 AM yankel Says:

i would love to see such a org. for real charity, imagine you lose your job, and you have 10k people giving $6. for you to buy a small business, or help you pay your tuition, marry ff your kids...... i would love to have a round table discussion about this....

102

 May 18, 2010 at 05:33 AM Halacha Says:

I joined KYA because it's a tzedaka. The highest form of tzedaka according to the Rambam z"l is giving or even lending money to an oni so they do not have to go off begging. The Rambam continues that a person has to more careful with tzedaka than any other mitzvah because it is the sign of the righteousness of the children of Avraham Yitzchok and Yaakov, and that one who encourages others to give tzedaka has a greater mitzva than the one who gives. That said, there were 15 negative comments about KYA, tzedaka, or rabbanim before anyone attempted to even the playing field. Is really necessary to try to stop people from giving tzedaka to almanos and yesomim? I don't have have children. I asked to join kya because I wanted the zchus to help almanos and yesomim (it's erev yom tov, please see Shulchan Aruch and Rambam concerning the mitzva of visamachta bichagecha and it's REQUIREMENTS concerning Almonos and yesomim.) While R' Horowitz might be raising some valid questions, the questions can be asked of almost any tzedaka. The internet is not the place to air these grievances. If even one person stops giving to KYA because these public attacks, RH will never crawl out of Gehenom.

103

 May 18, 2010 at 05:51 AM reality check Says:

Dear Rabbi Horowitz,
Who are the board members and overseers of The Center for Jewish Family Life, Project Yes, and Yeshiva Darchai Noam of Monsey? How involved are they and what say do they have in the financial matters of these institutions other than rubberstamping your decisions? How do you, as the head of these institutions have the time to investigate other mosdos when you have the full time job of heading three yourself? What recourse does a parent have if he feels the tution committee (whoever that might be) overcharged him or it's more than he can afford to pay?

104

 May 18, 2010 at 06:07 AM the real math Says:

I don't understand where the problem is. Assuming that things are done the simplest most logical way, (which may or may not be the case.) The information that I received from KYA says that their "group" size is about 16,000 members. Presumably new members will be added to this number until they have a group strength capable of sustaining their memberships anticipated collections, then the group splits into another group to minimize collections from among members. If a member dies, the next person to join KYA gets assigned to the existing group to maintain group strength, instead of whittling down the group to older members, more claims, with a smaller group to pay the increasing claim numbers. There is a disclaimer in case of an unforseen amount of "claims" the rabbonim can adjust payments, never to exceed $28 a month. As far as legal claims, the organization has voluntary membership. in exchange for your agreement to occaisionally give $28 a month to yesomim, the org will try to give X amount to your almanah and yesomim if Ch"v they need it. The yetzer is working overtime if we need to attack a mosod that helps almanos and yesomim. These are the last people you should mess with.

105

 May 18, 2010 at 06:50 AM Anonymous Says:

What happens if the breadwinner who dies is the wife? Is she covered by Areivim? I haven't seen any reference to women being eligible. There are myriads of women out there who are the main support out there for their families. And we cannot assume that if the female breadwinner dies, the husband will be able to pick up the slack. The economic climate coupled with the fact that a HUGE sector of the male population in the chareidi community is grossly under-educated (secularly) means that now, more than ever, women have become the main breadwinners. Does Areivim cover the death of a female breadwinner?

106

 May 18, 2010 at 08:15 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #58  
Anonymous Says:

I do not know their model, but per SS the chance of dying at age 30 is 0.1454%. Assuming (everyone on this program is 30) this based on a population of 16,500 the average deaths a year would be 24. If on average there are 3 dependent's the yearly payout would be about $7,200,000. Based on the current contribution of $28 per month that covers $5,544,000. So this is a bit short.

Now there are several things I wonder about. Even if you want to think the life expectancy in the jewish community is higher than the national average so that the benefits should not be a problem to pay out given the figures I just described, I would imaging that the average age of the policyholder's would be higher. If their are policyholders in their 40's the rates really start shooting up. Secondly I suggested an average of 3 dependents, I would imaging the average dependents are higher. (if you increase the average risk of death to 0.02021% and average dependents to 5, the payout is $16,700,000 with collected funds of only $5,544,000).

It seems to me without full transparency I would have to seriously wonder whether this policy is feasible.

Very good point brought up! I'd like to add to your comment.

I'm unsure if this only covers the member or the member's spouse as well. If it covers the spouse as well:
a) The total number of people is 33,000
b) The female rate at 30 is lower at .0641%. Average gender irrelevant is thus .10475%

The average deaths per year is thus 34.5, much higher than what the program is able to support. Even if you say that by not accepting those with a pre-existing condition the death rate is lower, I doubt the difference is that significant. You also have to take into account the higher age of the members which brings back up the death rate.

If the policy only covers the member only AND the members are 50% male 50% female, the average is 17.25, which is closer to being plausible.

In addition, for those who say the math is solid -- 16,500 x $6 is only $99,000 yet they say they will give $100K. Where did the extra money come from? The other program advertised 14,000 members x $7, which is only $98,000 (granted, their website now reads 14,286 but their flyer did not). If you can't get this simple math right, how can we trust you for the above math of death rates?

P.S. It is $24/mo not $28

107

 May 18, 2010 at 08:18 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #102  
Halacha Says:

I joined KYA because it's a tzedaka. The highest form of tzedaka according to the Rambam z"l is giving or even lending money to an oni so they do not have to go off begging. The Rambam continues that a person has to more careful with tzedaka than any other mitzvah because it is the sign of the righteousness of the children of Avraham Yitzchok and Yaakov, and that one who encourages others to give tzedaka has a greater mitzva than the one who gives. That said, there were 15 negative comments about KYA, tzedaka, or rabbanim before anyone attempted to even the playing field. Is really necessary to try to stop people from giving tzedaka to almanos and yesomim? I don't have have children. I asked to join kya because I wanted the zchus to help almanos and yesomim (it's erev yom tov, please see Shulchan Aruch and Rambam concerning the mitzva of visamachta bichagecha and it's REQUIREMENTS concerning Almonos and yesomim.) While R' Horowitz might be raising some valid questions, the questions can be asked of almost any tzedaka. The internet is not the place to air these grievances. If even one person stops giving to KYA because these public attacks, RH will never crawl out of Gehenom.

As far as I was told, the highest form of Tzedaka according to the Rambam is giving them a job, not giving them handouts. References maybe?

108

 May 18, 2010 at 08:33 AM Zalmy Says:

I have read it all and want to make suggestions to the relevant parties,



A) All members upon signing on shell assign three members of his/her family to distribute the money raised after death. the money shell be handed over to those trustees NOT Arevim holding onto their money till they reach 18, this way you will be avoiding a lot of hassle in the years to come (one shell always be able to change the trustees in a lawyer presence)



c) A responsible father who purchased life insurance, shouldn’t be penalised after death, therefore I recommend that in event there was life insurance coverage one shell still get from fund, but 75% shell be giving to the children & 25% shell be kept in the fund to cover shortfall & administration costs. this way people with coverage will join as well.



c) after a death, you shell open an actual bank account called "member #000" and publicise on a daily basis the statements up until the money is handed over, so people will see the fund growing this will attract non members to donate as well & people will see that its all for the good, after all there is nothing to hide.

109

 May 18, 2010 at 08:47 AM Teiku Says:

Der kasha is besser vi der teretz!

110

 May 18, 2010 at 09:18 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #96  
Anonymous Says:

While I too feel that many of rabbi horowtz's questions were not answered, and that the math is on shaky grounds, I don't see why are some readers making such a big deal: the way I look at it, this is basically a tzedakah fund for widows and orphans. For a few dollars a month you can help out a greaving family. So whAt if it will bankrupt in 10 years? So what if your own kids are illegible? This isnot an investment. It's taking all the various full page ads you already see in hamodia and yated every week, and letters you already recieve from various rabbeim in your kehillah setting up funds, and combining them in a more efficient, streamlined organization.
How bad can it be?
How much can you already loose?

It is NOT a tzedakah fund. You see the funds do not go to all poor orphans, all Jewish orphans or all poor frum Jewish oprhans. It only goes to poor frum Jewish orphans whose parents have been PAYING into the fund and then afterwards MAY be deemed admissible for receiving payment. Poor people do not have to pay into a tzedakah fund beforehand in order to receive money in the unlikely event something happens. The poor person who has paid in, the poor person who has not paid in, their children both need tzedaka. Whoever heard of a tzedaka you have to pay into to receive?

At best this is a terrible but well meant idea; there are far better vehicles for insurance and for tzedaka. At worst this is someone's quest to make money off the kindness or desperation of others.

111

 May 18, 2010 at 09:45 AM Yoss Says:

I am a little late to party with my comment here is my experience with areivim:
I was looking to get life insurance about a year ago and figured this areivim was a good idea. Well took like 20 minutes for a web expert to actually find the information on how to contact them. I left them a voice mail and after 3-4 weeks someone called me back, he was purely obsessed with getting my credit card number, which seemed really odd to me. I told the fellow to send me literature in the mail, needless to say nothing ever arrived.
I now have a normal life insurance policy and happy i didn't deal with these scammers.

112

 May 18, 2010 at 09:55 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

Life insurance is a for-profit business, use your head.

You are wrong ny life is owned by the policy holders its not a for profit corp

113

 May 18, 2010 at 10:09 AM Raphael Kaufman Says:

Reply to #67  
Anonymous Says:

How can you come to the conclusion that they're inept? Do you know them? Having fear is one thing, but to pass a verdict?

Poster #67 appears to be a professional Actuary. If so, he is perfectly qualified to say that the administrators of Areivim are, in his professional judgment, inept based on his experience and analysis of their own numbers. Note that he is not passing judgment on their character, only on the construction of their organization. As noted by other posters, a better use of Areivim's funds would be to assist families in making regular insurance premium payments.

114

 May 18, 2010 at 10:15 AM Raphael Kaufman Says:

Reply to #67  
Anonymous Says:

How can you come to the conclusion that they're inept? Do you know them? Having fear is one thing, but to pass a verdict?

P.S. I believe that the technical term for KYA's system is a tontine (look it up). All you actuaries out there, please correct me if i'm wrong.

115

 May 18, 2010 at 10:28 AM yakov Says:

They probably have 18,000 members to cover all the people that are not paying and expenses, they spend a lot of money on advertising...

116

 May 18, 2010 at 11:23 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #80  
pupa yid Says:

Some points people miss is that the fund collects the money when the person dies and gives it to the kid when ut gets married who sits on the money till then?

Now I heard that if the family had life insurance they don't get the money from arevim so the question is who gets the money collected?

If that's the situation, then they don't collect.

117

 May 18, 2010 at 11:31 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #85  
Anonymous Says:

I dont think its a Chutzpah of Rabbi Horowitz raising his concerns he has all the right to ask his legitement arguments. I rather think that readers are not paying full atention to the respons they just like the dirt and politics behind every good thing that is out there

It's one thing to raise concern and it is entirely a different thing to destroy it. I'm sure he had no intention to destroy it as he himself wrote "...Areivim; an important component for programs being set up that will operate for decades". So he though of it as an organization to stay, but only raised questions about it. But the reality is that olom goilom will take a stand regardless if they understand it or not. It would be very sad if Areivim and Kol Yisroel Areivim will go under because of this. The ones who will suffer will be the yesoimim.

119

 May 18, 2010 at 11:53 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #110  
Anonymous Says:

It is NOT a tzedakah fund. You see the funds do not go to all poor orphans, all Jewish orphans or all poor frum Jewish oprhans. It only goes to poor frum Jewish orphans whose parents have been PAYING into the fund and then afterwards MAY be deemed admissible for receiving payment. Poor people do not have to pay into a tzedakah fund beforehand in order to receive money in the unlikely event something happens. The poor person who has paid in, the poor person who has not paid in, their children both need tzedaka. Whoever heard of a tzedaka you have to pay into to receive?

At best this is a terrible but well meant idea; there are far better vehicles for insurance and for tzedaka. At worst this is someone's quest to make money off the kindness or desperation of others.

I'll tell you why it is a tzedoka. I nad probably half of its members have life insurance, but we feel it our duty to join to help the rest of klal Yisroel. Even those that don't have life insurance it still can be considered some form of tzedoka. Don't forget feeding your children is the biggest tzedoka.

120

 May 18, 2010 at 11:59 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #113  
Raphael Kaufman Says:

Poster #67 appears to be a professional Actuary. If so, he is perfectly qualified to say that the administrators of Areivim are, in his professional judgment, inept based on his experience and analysis of their own numbers. Note that he is not passing judgment on their character, only on the construction of their organization. As noted by other posters, a better use of Areivim's funds would be to assist families in making regular insurance premium payments.

How do you know that #56 (not #67) is a professional Actuary. Nothing from his words suggest that.

121

 May 18, 2010 at 12:11 PM Numbers Guy Says:

The numbers are actually worse than Rabbi Horowitz' article suggests. Per KYA's website, the maximum yearly payment by an individual member is $288. Consequently, the maximum amount of funds collectable from the cooperative is $4,752,000 (16,500 X $288), or enough for roughly 47.5 yesomim.

For purposes of illustration, let's assume (conservatively) that the average participant is 35 years old and has 5 children.

Per the actuarial life tables provided by the Social Security Administration (see http://www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/STATS/table4c6.html), the death probability of 35 year old males is 0.001673 -- for a group of 16,500 males, that translates to 27.60 deaths, and using our assumption, 138 yesomim (rachmanah litzlon) -- or almost triple of the amount of fund collected. Furthermore, I suspect that the average age would be something closer to 45 (or 300 yesomim R'L).

That said, I strongly disagree with those commentators who label this a "scam," or a way for the "askominim" to get rich; I believe that all involved are good intentioned, merely misguided and uninformed.

122

 May 18, 2010 at 12:37 PM Raphael Kaufman Says:

Reply to #120  
Anonymous Says:

How do you know that #56 (not #67) is a professional Actuary. Nothing from his words suggest that.

Note the qualifiers: "Appears to be" and "if so"

123

 May 18, 2010 at 12:46 PM rescue Says:

Reply to #117  
Anonymous Says:

It's one thing to raise concern and it is entirely a different thing to destroy it. I'm sure he had no intention to destroy it as he himself wrote "...Areivim; an important component for programs being set up that will operate for decades". So he though of it as an organization to stay, but only raised questions about it. But the reality is that olom goilom will take a stand regardless if they understand it or not. It would be very sad if Areivim and Kol Yisroel Areivim will go under because of this. The ones who will suffer will be the yesoimim.

The yesoimim will not suffer if this causes some people to start an organization that does this with transparency. i.e. market the organization as a alternative to the old way of providing for yesomim. Make a group with rules set up as to who will be elligible to collect and sign on others to assist in providing dontations. If I was approached to sign up for a group of 16,000 people made up of 50/50 eligible and ineligible and told from the outset that this is in lieu of the old way and the max required donation a year would be $xxx, I would consider it if they also disclosed the full plan and names of those running and supervision it.

124

 May 18, 2010 at 02:52 PM you forgot something: Says:

Reply to #121  
Numbers Guy Says:

The numbers are actually worse than Rabbi Horowitz' article suggests. Per KYA's website, the maximum yearly payment by an individual member is $288. Consequently, the maximum amount of funds collectable from the cooperative is $4,752,000 (16,500 X $288), or enough for roughly 47.5 yesomim.

For purposes of illustration, let's assume (conservatively) that the average participant is 35 years old and has 5 children.

Per the actuarial life tables provided by the Social Security Administration (see http://www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/STATS/table4c6.html), the death probability of 35 year old males is 0.001673 -- for a group of 16,500 males, that translates to 27.60 deaths, and using our assumption, 138 yesomim (rachmanah litzlon) -- or almost triple of the amount of fund collected. Furthermore, I suspect that the average age would be something closer to 45 (or 300 yesomim R'L).

That said, I strongly disagree with those commentators who label this a "scam," or a way for the "askominim" to get rich; I believe that all involved are good intentioned, merely misguided and uninformed.

your calculation are based on the assumption that all yesomim are eligible. but if -for example- 60% of "members" already have life insurance, have some money etc. than 55 yesomim a year need to be covered (again, assuming the average member has 5 yesomim which are non yet married- another number you pulled out of a hat).
still not perfect, but not as bad.

125

 May 18, 2010 at 03:25 PM Anonymous Says:

The other programs site is "http://areivimusa.org"

They have a board and do publicize who they are and it includes, prominent Rabbonim.

AMERICAN ADVISORY BOARD
Mr. Ezra Erani
Harav Yosef Menachem Fishman
Hagaon Rabbi Malkiel Kotler
Rabbi Eli Mansour
Rabbi David Ozeri
Jack E. Rahmey
Mr. N. Sam Sasson
Hagaon Rabbi Aharon Schechter
Mr. Moshe D. Stein
Rabbi Harold Sutton
Rabbi Meir Yedid

4415 14TH AVENUE
BROOKLYN NY, 11219
1-877-827-3484
24 HOUR HOTLINE: 1-866-7-AREIVIM

126

 May 18, 2010 at 05:18 PM Angel Funding Says:

Reply to #101  
yankel Says:

i would love to see such a org. for real charity, imagine you lose your job, and you have 10k people giving $6. for you to buy a small business, or help you pay your tuition, marry ff your kids...... i would love to have a round table discussion about this....

Yankel,

I would love to get involved in something like this. For a long time I have been trying to figure out why there is no litvishe, chassidish (pick your "label") version of the Sephardic angel fund. It doesn't have to be a charity, if the community weren't anti profit many of us could make money (and increase the net worth of the community at large) if there were an organized method of seeking investment from the community.

127

 May 18, 2010 at 06:27 PM Halacha Says:

Reply to #107  
Anonymous Says:

As far as I was told, the highest form of Tzedaka according to the Rambam is giving them a job, not giving them handouts. References maybe?

Ramabam Zeraim, Hil. Matnas Ani'im 10:7.
There are 8 levels of charity....
"Giving him money, giving him a loan, going into partnership with him, or finding him a job"
in order that he will not have to come on to others for money.

Are you such an amharetz that you couldn't look it up yourself?

128

 May 18, 2010 at 06:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #121  
Numbers Guy Says:

The numbers are actually worse than Rabbi Horowitz' article suggests. Per KYA's website, the maximum yearly payment by an individual member is $288. Consequently, the maximum amount of funds collectable from the cooperative is $4,752,000 (16,500 X $288), or enough for roughly 47.5 yesomim.

For purposes of illustration, let's assume (conservatively) that the average participant is 35 years old and has 5 children.

Per the actuarial life tables provided by the Social Security Administration (see http://www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/STATS/table4c6.html), the death probability of 35 year old males is 0.001673 -- for a group of 16,500 males, that translates to 27.60 deaths, and using our assumption, 138 yesomim (rachmanah litzlon) -- or almost triple of the amount of fund collected. Furthermore, I suspect that the average age would be something closer to 45 (or 300 yesomim R'L).

That said, I strongly disagree with those commentators who label this a "scam," or a way for the "askominim" to get rich; I believe that all involved are good intentioned, merely misguided and uninformed.

These comments hit it right on the money. I just verified the math. The actuarial life table is online for anyone to crunch the numbers themselves. This just won't work.

130

 May 21, 2010 at 01:28 AM SZ Says:

This sounds like a scam!

These two lines got me:
1. The money should ideally be allocated for major expenses, such as tuition or marriage, but the rov assigned to the family will be the ultimate arbiter. -

2. The account is opened in the name of the surviving parents and the family rov, as well as a family guardian to ensure that the money is used or invested wisely.

My comments reagding #1 above:
Until what age will the family still get $ for the child? what kind of tuition is paid? Yeshiva (till 12 grade)? Year in Israel? College? Graduate School? Or what if the orphan is 30+ and unmarried? Can they get the future marriage money upfront before the fund runs out?

Comments for #2: Obviously for anyone who missed it- the Rabbi, the spouse and a "family gaurdian" are 3 co-signors on the account!! Both the parent and Rav need to agree before checks can be written and cashed!!!

131

 May 21, 2010 at 10:30 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #125  
Anonymous Says:

The other programs site is "http://areivimusa.org"

They have a board and do publicize who they are and it includes, prominent Rabbonim.

AMERICAN ADVISORY BOARD
Mr. Ezra Erani
Harav Yosef Menachem Fishman
Hagaon Rabbi Malkiel Kotler
Rabbi Eli Mansour
Rabbi David Ozeri
Jack E. Rahmey
Mr. N. Sam Sasson
Hagaon Rabbi Aharon Schechter
Mr. Moshe D. Stein
Rabbi Harold Sutton
Rabbi Meir Yedid

4415 14TH AVENUE
BROOKLYN NY, 11219
1-877-827-3484
24 HOUR HOTLINE: 1-866-7-AREIVIM

these are not Board Members these are Rabbanim and community endirsmants
got on to www.kolyisraelareivim.org and you will see alot of indorsments as well
there is a brocure i have seen latley 30 board member names listed i recall
A. Biderman, (Agudah) Yaky Weinrib Rosh Hakuhol Biyan), Avraham Aron Lazar, with brother Berish Lazar (bobov) Abraham Lefkowitz Satmar Rosh Hakuahal, Lazar Shapiro (belz) Dr. Erving Livowitz (LA,) and another few what i dont recall thier names
Rabbi Yakov Bender Shlit"a

132

 May 21, 2010 at 11:56 AM Anonymous Says:

Simply put a man with ten kids is getting a bargain while a man with two is not. An unhealthy or elderly man is getting a bargain while a healthy young man is not.

133

 May 21, 2010 at 02:53 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #123  
rescue Says:

The yesoimim will not suffer if this causes some people to start an organization that does this with transparency. i.e. market the organization as a alternative to the old way of providing for yesomim. Make a group with rules set up as to who will be elligible to collect and sign on others to assist in providing dontations. If I was approached to sign up for a group of 16,000 people made up of 50/50 eligible and ineligible and told from the outset that this is in lieu of the old way and the max required donation a year would be $xxx, I would consider it if they also disclosed the full plan and names of those running and supervision it.

So while this new organization might or might not get started, we should all abandon Areivin or Kol Yisroel Areivim? You want to make the existing groups better; I’m all for it, but please, why destroy an imperfect thing before a perfect one is created?

The article didn’t merely ask questions but already past judgment, not the way to hold a discussion.

134

 May 24, 2010 at 01:41 PM Anonymous Says:

Lets face the facts, KYA claims to have close to 16,000 families enrolled wich means about 32,000 people covered and all were enrolled within the past 2-3 years.

I think we all know that for whatever reason a large part would of never bought a insurance policy and thanks to KYA are know covered at least with some coverege.

I am hoping that nobody planning to enroll refrained due to Rabbi Horowitz's unresponssible remarks because one thing we can be sure, Rabbi horowitz will not be at their side in case of tragedy r"l.

One more point to think about. KYA was established by the askanim who carry the burden of helping widows and orphans and I think that they comprehend the situation and what the areivim solution accomplished way better than Rabbi Horowitz who never had the responsibillity of supporting these famillies.

135

 May 26, 2010 at 02:55 PM Accountant Says:

Rabbi Horowitz asks many good, specific questions, most of which have not been directly addressed in the response. While I don't understand why the various Rabbonim and people who oversee them remain anonymous in the response, I do understand why the rest of the questions were not answered- because there are no answers. And here is the main point (which requires much better disclosure on the part of Areivim)- this is a system that costs a fraction of the preferred method of regular life insurance for those who do not have life insurance and realistically will not purchase it, for whatever reason. You get what you pay for; it is better than nothing, but cannot by its very design, address all of the questions that Rabbi Horowitz poses becuase the amounts that are being paid into the system cannot support such an ideal model. Areivim needs to advertise in bold letters that this is an inferior alternative to proper life insurance and should only be subscribed to by people who absolutely cannot afford such proper life insurance.

136

 May 31, 2010 at 09:46 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

This is such a blatant scam, I cannot believe anyone take it seriously. Even a small term life insurance policy would be more sensible for the target audience than this "shell game" with the rules determined by some rabbinical cronies of the organizer. I would hope this never gets off the ground or if it does, it will make Dwek look like a tzadik.

We could agree or disagree with the way it works, or its feasibility, (and i was sceptical from the get-go), but let's be respectful of these well-meaning askonim and rabbonim enough, to not call it a scam etc.

137

 May 31, 2010 at 10:17 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #93  
Proper Actuarial Analysis and Investment Says:

The program is needed, because families that have no income have no insurable value, and likely can't get insurance from a company with a strong AM Best Rating, and with the best terms. That being said, Mr. Bochner, has not addressed the most difficult questions, how will the company be managed, even though it is a non-profit, to some extent it still needs to be managed like a for profit endeavor, if we are to making the endowment and premiums achieve maximum viability; once we have reached critical mass of 16,500 souls.

after the actuarial analysis let me make a suggestion related to the "growth" area of fund allocation and investment. The Wall Street Journal had an article recently about "death bonds." They should consider an investment in this asset class. It is a corporate fixed income bond with a higher coupon, because they don't have the "best," credit ratings, but they have an early redemption upon death with a beneficiary. If the bondholder dies early they can claim full maturity at time of death increasing the total IRR. If they don't die then there was still a substantial interest rate of better than 2.5%.

HUH? How do you make up this stuff??? Anyone can get term life insurance, with no job, as long as they are able to pay the premium.

1. to respond to the advantage of this fund as a non-profit, be aware taht there are commercial non-profit insurance companies known as MUTUAL companies. Aside for the fact that there is nothig wrong with a company turning a profit.

2. In my opinion, the Areivim people should be helping people purchase term life. If they put their efforts there, they could probably get a 'slightly' better rate, as they are bringing in customers. Or they could act as the agent, and forfiet their commisions.

3. Prices do not go up each year. You could get a 10 year or even a 20 year policy, if you are young and relatively healthy for under $500 annually, that would pay out a half million dollars, no begging, no shame, no rabbinic inquisition board ensuring that your family is destitute.

138

 May 31, 2010 at 10:26 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #93  
Proper Actuarial Analysis and Investment Says:

The program is needed, because families that have no income have no insurable value, and likely can't get insurance from a company with a strong AM Best Rating, and with the best terms. That being said, Mr. Bochner, has not addressed the most difficult questions, how will the company be managed, even though it is a non-profit, to some extent it still needs to be managed like a for profit endeavor, if we are to making the endowment and premiums achieve maximum viability; once we have reached critical mass of 16,500 souls.

after the actuarial analysis let me make a suggestion related to the "growth" area of fund allocation and investment. The Wall Street Journal had an article recently about "death bonds." They should consider an investment in this asset class. It is a corporate fixed income bond with a higher coupon, because they don't have the "best," credit ratings, but they have an early redemption upon death with a beneficiary. If the bondholder dies early they can claim full maturity at time of death increasing the total IRR. If they don't die then there was still a substantial interest rate of better than 2.5%.

4. It would be a vital service to the community if all tehse efforts were directed to heightening awareness and responsibity within the frum community toget this insurance. If Rabbonim and askonim put their weight behind this, we could soon have a situation where yungeliet not be insured means that you hate your family. It becomes the natural thing to do.

5. Start a fund of Areivim to pay for insurance for anyone who cannot afford it, perhaps paying for a percentage of their policy. Another possiblity is having anyone learning ain kollel aotumatically signed up, via the kollel. Part of their kollel compensation should be in the form of term insurance, even if this lowers their 'take-home' pay by $50 per month. All these rabbonim who are gung-ho to support the Areivim project would be the first to institute this in their own kollels.

139

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