Religion Magazine

Breslav Organizations Gets Sued for Calling for Donations

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
The phone has great potential as a tool for assisting a person in doing mitzvos and kind deeds. It eases us in communicating with people far away, one can say kind words, words of encouragement, make arrangements to help someone in need, or give charity via the telephone, and probably 101 other ways as well.
But sometimes it gets really frustrating when you get a few phone calls in a night from telemarketers trying to raise money for various organizations. In the USA they have a no call list, and telemarketers are not allowed to call you if you put yourself on the no call list.
Here in Israel there is no law about a "no call" list. Maybe there should be (any MKs ut there who might be reading this - you are welcome to take this idea and turn it into a law proposal. you don't even have to give me credit), but right now there is no such law and no such no call list.
But there is a different solution. You can sue the telemarketer - well, actually the organization raising money. Granted, lawsuits in Israel do not bring in as much income as lawsuits in the USA, but at least its something. And if it happens a few times, organizations will reconsider how they use the telephone to reach out to potential donors.
Some fellow named Doron received repeated phone calls from some Breslav-affiliated organization. The recorded message offered Doron the ability to make a donation and receive in exchange a blessing.
Personally I can think of a few organizations I have received numerous phone calls like that from.
Eventually Doron had had enough. It seems they were calling him very frequently, even a number of times each day! Doron did some research and discovered that it is illegal to send commercial advertising without the explicit permission of the recipient - this is called the Spam Law. The law includes all forms of communication, including the automatic dialer system.
Dorno then recorded the phone call the next time they called him, and filed a lawsuit.
Doron said that it was a very simple process. He took a form template for a lawsuit based on the anti-spam law, filled it out himself, and filed it in Small Claims Court. no lawyer, no nothing. They set a date to hear the case, and the other side, the defendants, did not even bother showing up, though they sent a letter of defense explaining their position. The case, Doron says, was over in a minute.
Doron won the suit and was awarded 2,623 NIS. Not a lot of money, but he says the entire thing was almost no effort.
It has been five months since the decision, and while he has yet to see the money, he was just informed that the check was cut and is being sent to him.
source: Kikar
Watch out telemarketers for organizations asking for donations. Now that this has been publicized, there might be a rash of lawsuits filed...
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