Holocaust Center in Fight Over $1 Million Donation

Guardian for donor dispute agreement over donation

By Sebastian del Marmol
|  Sunday, Mar 4, 2012  |  Updated 11:07 AM EDT
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Over $1 million is at stake in a dispute between the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center and the guardian of a donor.

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Already facing foreclosure on its existing location for failure to repay a loan, the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center in Hollywood is now involved in another legal battle with more than $1 million at stake, reported the Miami Herald Saturday.

According to the Herald story, the center is claiming an 88-year-old woman pledged to give $1 million to the center and signed two letters acknowledging so in 2003 and 2010. But now, a guardian for the donor, and an attorney for the guarding, are disputing the pledge, the newspaper reported.

As a result, the center is now involved in a legal case over the guardianship of the Ada Feingold, who has donated more than $260,000 to the center over the years. Feingold is worth about $5.5 million and lives with a 24-hour aide, the story said.

At issue is whether Feingold is mentally incapacitated because of memory loss and Parkinson’s disease and a judge is expected to rule on her ability to act on her own behalf after a hearing was held on the issue last Thursday, reported the Herald.

While the center stands to get a sizeable donation if it wins the case regarding the $1 million pledge, future donations could be negatively affected.  Daniel Borochoff, president of CharityWatch, a Chicago-based organization that evaluates charities for potential donors, said future donors could be put off by the legal action, he told the Herald.

No matter how this case turns out, the center is still facing a foreclosure from the City of Hollywood over payments it has failed to make on a loan given to it in 2004 to purchase its existing building.

The center previously said it does not owe anything because Hollywood oversold it a rundown building and condemned the second floor, but the city disputes the assertion. Officials for the center said the two cases have nothing to do with each other, the Herald reported.

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