Notes and Clarification
Approximately 25 years prior to Arthur Goldberg's involvement in JONAH, he was a principal in a Wall Street investment banking firm that specialized in the structuring and underwriting of municipal bonds. In 1986, the federal tax law changed and Mr. Goldberg's firm attempted to "grandfather" a number of bond transactions under the old law. Several of these bond transactions were questioned by the regulators and as a result of such investigation, in 1986-87, Arthur Goldberg was accused of fraudulent conduct in the structuring of some of these municipal bond issues. Several years of protracted litigation ensued which created a huge financial burden and this ultimately resulted in a plea agreement in which the prosecution agreed to dismiss all the major counts of the indictment and accept a guilty plea on the minor counts. The trial judge's sentencing, however, was based upon unproven allegations, thus, the initial sentence was overruled by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which found that the lower court went way beyondthe facts of the conviction.
Because an appeal was filed, a second investigation began in a different jurisdiction and that litigation resulted in the filing of a one count Information.
The two cases were interrelated. The initial conviction pertained to a non-intentional act involving reckless conduct by approving a requisition to a third party of $57,500 from funds concerning which the government admitted Arthur Goldberg's firm had a good faith belief (although apparently erroneously) that the funds belonged to the employer and thus could be spent as they chose. The second conviction pertained to a "conspiracy" to not file an information return (not an actual tax return) with the IRS.
It should be noted that the government's Pre-Sentence Investigation report to the Judge for the sentence actually served specifically found that no money was lost by any investor in the structured transactions. Arthur Goldberg served approximately 6 months of incarceration in a federal facility, approximately 3 months in a half-way house, and approximately 3 months in home confinement. Upon release from the 6 plus months in the federal facility, he was rehired by his previous employer and continued doing financial work.
JONAH's Logo Change (Posted September 2010)
In January 2010, JONAH launched as our logo. This new logo reflects both JONAH's growing outreach to all corners of the globe and the wider scope of issues with which we are concerned.
With the demand for our services increasing exponentially, professional staff has been added to work together with the volunteer Co-Directors. The new logo reflects this increased professionalism.
JONAH's legal name is simply "JONAH," chosen to symbolize the reluctant Biblical prophet Jonah who carried a message of healing to the people of Nineveh. JONAH's initial thrust, as reflected in the original meaning of its acronym (Jews Offering New alternatives to Homosexuality), was to work with those with unwanted same-sex attractions by providing the community with educational outreach services, including counseling referrals, for affected individuals and their families.
However, numerous individuals sought out JONAH to provide advice and services concerning several other issues of sexual confusion. Therefore, our scope of services has been broadened to now include issues involving other sexual conflicts (e.g. sexual promiscuity, pornography, sexual abuse, pedophilia or pederasty, compulsive masturbation, fetishes, transvestitism, incest, prostitution, emotional dependency, sexual addictions, etc.). In light of this demand, the Board of Directors determined that a more encompassing meaning was required for our acronym, one that is reflective of this broader scope and thus chose "Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing."
History of JONAH (Posted November 2007)
JONAH was launched in 1998 by two New Jersey Jewish couples whose adult children had become involved in homosexuality. Recognizing the almost total absence of resources and services available for Jewish families to address this issue, the founders adhered to the traditional Jewish teaching that homosexual behavior should be discouraged, but they were also determined to maintain a loving bond with their children. Because JONAH was the only Jewish-based organization specifically dealing with the healing of homosexuality,they quickly discovered a huge vacuum existing within the Jewish world. Innumerable strugglers with unwanted same-sex attractions, spouses, other parents, and citizens concerned about the direction of society's permissiveness, contacted them either for assistance or to ask what they could do to help individuals in crisis who suffered from unwanted same-sex attractions (SSA).
Incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation in 2000, JONAH not only helps parents and families find support in dealing with their loved ones' homosexuality, but also provides support and resources to individual men and women struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction. JONAH's mission is not political and therefore we will not take political stands.
Since 2000, JONAH has provided resources, referrals, mentoring and coaching services, group support, Shabbatons, seminars and outreach to thousands of impacted individuals both from our Jersey City offices (which services close-by New York City) and throughout the world. Its outreach extends to 5 continents and more than a dozen countries. The agency's services are open to male and female adults 18 years of age and older. For those under 18 who seek assistance, parental permission is required.
JONAH believes that homosexuality is a learned behavior and that anyone can choose to disengage from their same-sex sexual fantasies, arousals, behavior and identity - if motivated and supported in that process. We also believe that with appropriate assistance, same-sex attractions can be reduced or eliminated followed by the subsequent development of one's innate opposite-sex attractions.
JONAH believes those who feel same-sex attraction should be able to make an informed decision about whether they wish to act on their same-sex attraction and identify as gay or whether they wish to journey out of homosexuality. JONAH provides the information needed to make a reasoned choice and then provides resources to those who choose to grow out of same-sex attraction. JONAH teaches that strugglers can journey away from homosexuality with psychological and spiritual help, peer support, and personal empowerment. Its objective is to reunify families, to heal the wounds surrounding homosexuality, and to provide hope that persons with unwanted same-sex attraction can become the person that G-d intended them to be.
JONAH's strength-based approach helps the struggler integrate various parts of his or her identity and move forward in a positive manner, thereby permitting the struggler to work through issues of shame, self-denial, and/or repression. Our approach is positive and affirming, providing hope to those in the process.
JONAH is a pioneering organization in tackling this issue from a Jewish perspective. However, consistent with traditional Jewish teachings, its services are available to those of any faith or no faith. It differs from any other existing faith-based ministry focusing on this subject, in that, consistent with the tradition of Judaism, it will provide assistance without proselytizing to those of other faiths.