Who is Paying?

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Jacob Berkman, over at The Fundermentalist, asks an ethical question about a topic that isn’t addressed enough–excessive spending in the Jewish communal world. He’s looking for advice, so check it out:

A guy who works for a non-profit that we cover wants to get lunch today, on him — which presumably means on the non-profit’s dime.

He suggested the Prime Grill, a fairly posh kosher steakhouse in Manhattan. It’s not a bad joint for a date, but for lunch appetizers run between $17 and $25 a pop, and entrees range between $26 and $59.

As much as I was tempted – as the Fundermentalist budget doesn’t allow for many $75 lunches – I wasn’t sure about spending that much on dining, especially when there is a burgeoning food crisis in this country. I raised the issue about the price, and he suggested Wolf and Lamb, another nice, but relatively more moderate kosher steakhouse (appetizers $6-$13, entrees $13-$30), still on him. I agreed.

Did I make the right call? Does your non-profit have a policy about expenditures for work-related meals?

Posted on July 18, 2008
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