FIDF Ex. Dir. of the Eastern Region Seth Baron

KENNESAW, GA -- Seth Baron, who for the past seven years has served as executive director of the Southeast Region, will now serve as the FIDF Executive Director of the newly merged Eastern Region. During his tenure, the Southeast region experienced rapid growth in both fundraising and donor engagement in support of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers.

Under Baron’s leadership, the FIDF Southeast community adopted the Combat Intelligence Corps; funded various projects on IDF bases ranging from the refurbishment of a gym for Hiram Brigade on HQ Gibor Base, funding of the 2182 Campus Infirmary, as well as numerous leisure corners for the benefit of multiple IDF units; and has sponsored a total of 370 IMPACT! scholarships, with 133 current IMPACT! students. The Southeast area is home to 60 Lone Soldiers currently serving in the IDF, including 40 from Atlanta.

“I am excited about this merger of the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast Regions to create the Eastern Region, a decision that reflects our new vision for FIDF, and team-based approach to leadership,” said FIDF National Director and CEO Steven Weil. “Seth’s knowledge of and passion for FIDF’s mission, wealth of management abilities, relationship building skills, and process-driven performance will help him excel in this new position.”

Prior to working at FIDF, Baron served as both the Atlanta Area Director and the Southern States Area Director for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) from 2007 to 2013. Baron resides in Kennesaw, Ga., with his wife and two children.
“My life, both personally and professionally, has been dedicated to the Land of Israel and its people,” said Baron. “I look forward to continuing to provide solutions that benefit the well-being, education, and spiritual needs of the men and women who serve in the IDF, protecting Israel and Jews all around the world.”

Additionally, Josh Stevens has been appointed the Interim Director of the FIDF Washington, D.C. Chapter. Following his graduation from the University of Maryland in 2003, Stevens worked as an educator while pursuing a master’s degree in Education from Trinity University, in Washington, D.C. After teaching for 12 years, Stevens transitioned to work in the Jewish community as a senior regional director at BBYO, before joining FIDF in 2018. Stevens resides in Rockville, Md., with his wife and twin daughters.

“During my first time in Israel, on a Taglit Birthright trip, I was profoundly impacted by both the mifgash experience of meeting IDF soldiers, and the newfound awareness of how community can be built on the foundation of a shared narrative,” said Stevens. “Since then, much of my life has been devoted to building community and support for Israel by tapping into people’s inner-Zionism through immersive experiences.”

Ari Dallas, the former FIDF Mid-Atlantic executive director, has been promoted to serve as the Senior Vice President of National Affairs. In this role, he will manage the FIDF Headquarters’ departments in New York City and focus on strategy at the national level.
The FIDF Mid-Atlantic community has been a strong supporter of many FIDF programs over the years; including sponsoring around 900 IMPACT! scholarships over the years, with 203 current IMPACT! students; adopting 6 IDF battalions; and funding construction projects such as the military seminary of the IDF Education Corps at the Sapir Jewish Heritage Center in Jerusalem. The Mid-Atlantic region is home to 84 Lone Soldiers currently serving in the IDF.
FIDF was established in 1981 by a group of Holocaust survivors as a 501(C) (3) not-for-profit organization with the mission of offering educational, cultural, recreational, and social programs and facilities that provide hope, purpose, and life-changing support for the soldiers who protect Israel and Jews worldwide. Today, FIDF has 25 chapters throughout the United States and Panama. FIDF proudly supports IDF soldiers, families of fallen soldiers, and wounded veterans through a variety of innovative programs that reinforce the vital bond between the communities in the United States, the soldiers of the IDF, and the state of Israel.



     PAUL HSU, M.P.H., Ph.D.

Farm workers are among the most essential workers in California. Thanks to their tireless efforts, crops are planted, tended, and harvested so that all Californians can enjoy their daily meals. But in order to provide our daily bread, farm workers expose themselves to the coronavirus as they travel to work in crowded vehicles, work shoulder to shoulder in packing houses, and sleep in packed houses and barracks at night.

These essential workers are paid very little, and they rarely have health insurance. If they become infected with the coronavirus, they often have to pay their medical costs out of pocket.

Figure 1 shows the cost of a typical course of remdesivir used in COVID-19 treatment ($3,120), as well as average monthly household incomes tor farm workers in California, all Latino households in the United States, and all non-Hispanic white households in the United States. This shows that the cost of a course of remdesivir treatment amounts to more than two whole months’ income for a California farm worker.

Because they rarely have health insurance, in order to pay for such a course of treatment, a California farm worker would have to go entirely without meals, housing, and transportation for two months (60 days). Of course, most people will starve to death by around 40 days without food.

The average monthly household income of all Latinos in the U.S. is $5,441. The out-of-pocket cost for a course of remdesivir is slightly more than half (57%) that amount. Higher-income households are more likely to have health insurance, though, so these households might have most, or all, of this cost covered by their insurer.

The average monthly income for non-Hispanic white households in the U.S. is $7,090. The cost of remdesivir treatment would be less than half (44%) a month’s income for them. About 95% of non-Hispanic white households have health insurance, which might cover most, or all, of the cost.

Nearly 50 years ago, the medical economist Victor Fuchs posed a question in the title of his first book on health, economics, and social choice: Who shall live? In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on essential workers—such as farm workers—who earn little and rarely have health insurance, we must ask ourselves the same question: Who shall live?

For more information, or to arrange a telephone interview with the Center’s Director, David E. Hayes-Bautista, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Medicine, please contact Adriana Valdez, at (310) 794-0663 or


An open letter from Daniel O’Day, Chairman & CEO, Gilead Sciences. website. Published June 29, 2020. Accessed October 3, 2020.

COVID-19 Farmworker Study. Preliminary Data Brief, July 27, 2020: Historic Pandemic Worsens Vulnerability of Essential Workers Who Feed Us All. Published July 27, 2020. Accessed August 11, 2020.

Fuchs VR. Who Shall Live? Health, Economics, and Social Choice. New York: Basic Books; 1975.

Lupkin S. Remdesivir Priced At More Than $3,100 For A Course Of Treatment. NPR website. Published June 29, 2020. Accessed October 3, 2020.

-- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Consumer Expenditures in 2018


Cont'd from Column 1

Goldman received partial credit for its cooperation with the department’s investigation, but did not receive full credit for cooperation because it significantly delayed producing relevant evidence, including recorded phone calls in which the Company’s bankers, executives, and control function personnel discussed allegations of bribery and misconduct relating to the conduct in the statement of facts.  Accordingly, the total criminal penalty reflects a 10 percent reduction off the bottom of the applicable U.S. sentencing guidelines fine range.

Low has also been indicted for conspiracy to commit money laundering and violate the FCPA, along with Ng, E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-538 (MKB).  Low remains a fugitive.  The charges in the indictment as to Low and Ng are merely allegations, and those defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
– Department of Justice. 



Experience a wealth of England’s rural and historical treasures, and the fictional ‘Downton Abbey’ village, on this full-day trip from London with an expert guide. Marvel at splendid Blenheim Palace, the UNESCO-protected country house where Sir Winston Churchill was born, and discover the enchanting scenery of the Cotswolds, with visits to an idyllic village: either Bibury or Bourton-on-the-Water. Lastly, explore the pretty village of Bampton to see some of the locations where the much-loved TV series, ‘Downton Abbey’, was filmed, and enjoy time for lunch here before returning to London. Full-day trip to Blenheim Palace, the Cotswolds, and Downton Abbey village from London, led by an expert guide Explore Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the birthplace of Sir William Churchill Revel in the quintessentially English villages and thatched-roof houses of the Cotswolds from the comfort of a luxury coach Visit the charming village of Bibury or Bourton-on-the-Water Enjoy a walking tour of the village of Bampton, featured in Downton Abbey as Downton village Please note a visit to Highclere Castle is not included

Read more about Downton Abbey Village, Blenheim Palace, Cotswolds from London 2020

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       15-21 Cheshvan, 5781                                        Nov. 2-8, 2020 -- THE JEWISH OBSERVER, LOS ANGELES--643rd Web Ed.



Facebook has explicitly banned Holocaust denial for the first time. The social network said its new policy prohibits "any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust."

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg wrote that he had "struggled with the tension" between free speech and banning such posts, but that "this is the right balance".

Two years ago, Mr Zuckerberg said that such posts should not automatically be taken down for "getting it wrong".

"I'm Jewish and there's a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened," he told Recode at the time. "I find it deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don't believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong. I don't think that they're intentionally getting it wrong."

His remarks led to a large public backlash. But on Monday, as Facebook changed its policies, he wrote that he had changed his mind.

"My own thinking has evolved as I've seen data showing an increase in anti-Semitic violence, as have our wider policies on hate speech," he wrote in a public Facebook post. "Drawing the right lines between what is and isn't acceptable speech isn't straightforward, but with the current state of the world, I believe this is the right balance."

Earlier this year, Facebook banned hate speech involving harmful stereotypes, including anti-Semitic content. But Holocaust denial had not been banned.

Facebook's vice-president of content policy, Monika Bickert, said the company had made the decision alongside "the well-documented rise in anti-Semitism globally and the alarming level of ignorance about the Holocaust, especially among young people".

She said that later this year, searching for the Holocaust - or its denial - on Facebook would direct users to "credible" information. But she also warned change would not happen overnight, and training its employees and automated systems would take time.

The World Jewish Congress - which had conferred with Facebook on anti-Semitism - welcomed the move.

"Denying the Holocaust, trivializing it, minimizing it, is a tool used to spread hatred and false conspiracies about Jews and other minorities," the group said in a statement.  But it also noted that it had campaigned for the removal of Holocaust denial content from the platform "for several years".

Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, tweeted: "This has been years in the making."

"Having personally engaged with Facebook on the issue, I can attest the ban on Holocaust Denial is a big deal... glad it finally happened."–BBCi


WASHINGTON – The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (Goldman Sachs or the Company), a global financial institution headquartered in New York, New York, and Goldman Sachs (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. (GS Malaysia), its Malaysian subsidiary, have admitted to conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in connection with a scheme to pay over $1 billion in bribes to Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials to obtain lucrative business for Goldman Sachs, including its role in underwriting approximately $6.5 billion in three bond deals for 1Malaysia Development Bhd. (1MDB), for which the bank earned hundreds of millions in fees.  Goldman Sachs will pay more than $2.9 billion as part of a coordinated resolution with criminal and civil authorities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and elsewhere.

Goldman Sachs entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the department in connection with a criminal information filed today in the Eastern District of New York charging the Company with conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA.  GS Malaysia pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York to a one-count criminal information charging it with conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA.

Previously, Tim Leissner, the former Southeast Asia Chairman and participating managing director of Goldman Sachs, pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money and to violate the FCPA.  Ng Chong Hwa, also known as “Roger Ng,” former managing director of Goldman and head of investment banking for GS Malaysia, has been charged with conspiring to launder money and to violate the FCPA.  Ng was extradited from Malaysia to face these charges and is scheduled to stand trial in March 2021.  The cases are assigned to U.S. District Judge Margo K. Brodie of the Eastern District of New York.

In addition to these criminal charges, the department has recovered, or assisted in the recovery of, in excess of $1 billion in assets for Malaysia associated with and traceable to the 1MDB money laundering and bribery scheme.  

“Goldman Sachs today accepted responsibility for its role in a conspiracy to bribe high-ranking foreign officials to obtain lucrative underwriting and other business relating to 1MDB,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.  “Today’s resolution, which requires Goldman Sachs to admit wrongdoing and pay nearly three billion dollars in penalties, fines, and disgorgement, holds the bank accountable for this criminal scheme and demonstrates the department’s continuing commitment to combatting corruption and protecting the U.S. financial system.”

“Over a period of five years, Goldman Sachs participated in a sweeping international corruption scheme, conspiring to avail itself of more than $1.6 billion in bribes to multiple high-level government officials across several countries so that the company could reap hundreds of millions of dollars in fees, all to the detriment of the people of Malaysia and the reputation of American financial institutions operating abroad,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Seth D. DuCharme of the Eastern District of New York.  “Today’s resolution, which includes a criminal guilty plea by Goldman Sachs’ subsidiary in Malaysia, demonstrates that the department will hold accountable any institution that violates U.S. law anywhere in the world by unfairly tilting the scales through corrupt practices.”

“When government officials and business executives secretly work together behind the scenes for their own illegal benefit, and not that of their citizens and shareholders, their behavior lends credibility to the narrative that businesses don’t succeed based on the quality of their products, but rather their willingness to play dirty,” said Assistant Director in Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. of the FBI’s New York Field Office.  “Greed eventually exacts an immense cost on society, and unchecked corrupt behavior erodes trust in public institutions and government entities alike.  This case represents the largest ever penalty paid to U.S. authorities in an FCPA case.  Our investigation into the looting of funds from 1MDB remains ongoing. If anyone has information that could assist the case, call us at 1-800-CALLFBI.”

“1MDB was established to drive strategic initiatives for the long-term economic development of Malaysia. Goldman Sachs admitted today that one billion dollars of the money earmarked to help the people of Malaysia was actually diverted and used to pay bribes to Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials to obtain their business,” said Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Korner of IRS Criminal Investigation’s (IRS-CI) Los Angeles Field Office. “Today’s guilty pleas demonstrate that the law applies to everyone, including large investment banks like Goldman Sachs.  IRS Criminal Investigation will work tirelessly alongside our law enforcement partners to identify and bring to justice those who engage in fraud and deceit around the globe.  When the American financial system is misused for corruption, the IRS will take notice and we will take action.”

According to Goldman’s admissions and court documents, between approximately 2009 and 2014, Goldman conspired with others to violate the FCPA by engaging in a scheme to pay more than $1.6 billion in bribes, directly and indirectly, to foreign officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi in order to obtain and retain business for Goldman from 1MDB, a Malaysian state-owned and state-controlled fund created to pursue investment and development projects for the economic benefit of Malaysia and its people.  Specifically, the Company admitted to engaging in the bribery scheme through certain of its employees and agents, including Leissner, Ng, and a former executive who was a participating managing director and held leadership positions in Asia (Employee 1), in exchange for lucrative business and other advantages and opportunities.  These included, among other things, securing Goldman’s role as an advisor on energy acquisitions, as underwriter on three lucrative bond deals with a total value of $6.5 billion, and a potential role in a highly anticipated and even more lucrative initial public offering for 1MDB’s energy assets.  As Goldman admitted—and as alleged in the indictment pending in the Eastern District of New York against Ng and Low—in furtherance of the scheme, Leissner, Ng, Employee 1, and others conspired to pay bribes to numerous foreign officials, including high-ranking officials in the Malaysian government, 1MDB, Abu Dhabi’s state-owned and state-controlled sovereign wealth fund, International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), and Abu Dhabi’s state-owned and state-controlled joint stock company, Aabar Investments PJS (Aabar).

Goldman admitted [recently] that, in order to effectuate the scheme, Leissner, Ng, Employee 1, and others conspired with Low Taek Jho, aka Jho Low, to promise and pay over $1.6 billion in bribes to Malaysian, 1MDB, IPIC, and Aabar officials.  The co-conspirators allegedly paid these bribes using more than $2.7 billion in funds that Low, Leissner, and other members of the conspiracy diverted and misappropriated from the bond offerings underwritten by Goldman. Leissner, Ng and Low also retained a portion of the misappropriated funds for themselves and other co-conspirators.  Goldman admitted that, through Leissner, Ng, Employee 1 and others, the bank used Low’s connections to advance and further the bribery scheme, ultimately ensuring that 1MDB awarded Goldman a role on three bond transactions between 2012 and 2013, known internally at Goldman as “Project Magnolia,” “Project Maximus,” and “Project Catalyze.”

Goldman also admitted that, although employees serving as part of Goldman’s control functions knew that any transaction involving Low posed a significant risk, and although they were on notice that Low was involved in the transactions, they did not take reasonable steps to ensure that Low was not involved.  Goldman further admitted that there were significant red flags raised during the due diligence process and afterward—including but not limited to Low’s involvement—that either were ignored or only nominally addressed so that the transactions would be approved and Goldman could continue to do business with 1MDB. As a result of the scheme, Goldman received approximately $606 million in fees and revenue, and increased its stature and presence in Southeast Asia.

Under the terms of the agreements, Goldman will pay a criminal penalty and disgorgement of over $2.9 billion.  Goldman also has reached separate parallel resolutions with foreign authorities in the United Kingdom, Singapore, Malaysia, and elsewhere, along with domestic authorities in the United States.  The department will credit over $1.6 billion in payments with respect to those resolutions.

The department reached this resolution with Goldman based on a number of factors, including the Company’s failure to voluntarily disclose the conduct to the department; the nature and seriousness of the offense, which included the involvement of high-level employees within the Company’s investment bank and others who ignored significant red flags; the involvement of various Goldman subsidiaries across the world; the amount of the bribes, which totaled over $1.6 billion; the number and high-level nature of the bribe recipients, which included at least 11 foreign officials, including high-ranking officials of the Malaysian government; and the significant amount of actual loss incurred by 1MDB as a result of the co-conspirators’ conduct.

Cont'd at Column 2