Married New York billionaire and philanthropist Michael Steinhardt, 78, is accused of sexual harassment by six women who say he asked them to sleep with him and have threesomes while they courted him for donations (3 Pics)

 A prominent New York philanthropist who is considered a titan in the Jewish community has been accused of sexual harassment by six different women. 
Michael Steinhardt, 78, has been accused of asking women for sex, making inappropriate remarks about their bodies and fertility and offering them millions of dollars to let him set them up with other men in a series of scathing interviews published by The New York Times on Thursday. 
Steinhardt, who is married with adult children, allegedly asked some women for threesomes and repeatedly asked them to sleep with him while they were courting him for donations.
He is also accused of berating the women if they were unmarried and suggesting that a young rabbi become his live-in mistress when she was 27 and he was in his fifties.  
The billionaire, who made his fortune through hedge funds in the 1960s, has an 'obsession' with matchmaking in the Jewish community, friends say, and has given millions of dollars to Jewish nonprofits over the last several decades.
According to insiders, he is known to push single Jews into 'kissing, dating or marrying'. 
He also pushes Jewish women into having children by offering them money or the use of a Caribbean home for them to conceive children in.  
All of the women who have shared stories about him either came into contact with him through work or when trying to get a donation from him. They say they felt they had to tolerate his behavior or risk losing their careers.
Sheila Katz, the vice president of Hillel International, a campus organization for Jewish college students says he asked her to have sex with him and called himself the 'king of Israel'. 
She had gone to his Manhattan office in 2015 to film an interview for a campaign when he started making inappropriate remarks.
 Sheila Katz, 35, says Steinhardt asked her to have sex with him in 2015 then berated her for not being married and refused to fund any of her projects until she wed and had a baby.
Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi  said Steinhardt asked her in 1995, when she was 27 and he was sponsoring her first rabbinical position, to become his live-in mistress 
Katz said that after asking her to have sex with him, he brought in two male employees and told her he would give her $1million to marry one of them. 
He added that it was an 'abomination' that she was not married and said he would not fund any of her projects until she was married with a baby. 
She complained about him to her boss at Hillel and was promised she would not have to see him again. 
The foundation continued accepting donations from him until last year after conducting its own internal investigation into his treatment of another female employee. 
On Thursday, she complained that it had taken so long for her claims to become public. 
'My nearly four-year struggle to hold prominent philanthropist Michael Steinhardt accountable for his sexual harassment of me & countless other woman finally came to light. 
'The fact that it took this long to shed light on his wrong doing illustrates how powerful harassers continue to be protected, enabled, and immunized, even in the #MeToo era.
'While I am still nervous and scared of retaliation- my goal in coming forward and sharing my story is to hopefully prevent any other woman in the Jewish community or beyond from having to endure any form of sexual harassment from Michael Steinhardt ever again,' she said.  
Deborah Mohile Goldberg worked for him at Birthright Israel, the nonprofit he founded which has sent thousands of young Jews on free trips to Israel. 
She claims he asked her and another female colleague if they would engage in a threesome with him. 
They were in Jerusalem at the time at a donor reception. 
'We were working Joes, pretty vulnerable, and here he is with all his authority, coming over and propositioning us,' Goldberg, who was Birthright Israel's director of communications between 2001 and 2010, said. 
Natalie Goldfein worked for Synagogue Transformation and Renewal, a smaller organization in Chicago which Steinhardt gave $250,000-a-year to. 
She said that he asked her to have babies with him. 
'I always felt that it was like a game to him and that I had to put up with it and play along. But it wasn’t an equal playing field,' she said. She is now 58. 
The earliest claim dates back to 1995 when Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi says he asked her to become his concubine. 
At the time, she was 27 and he was sponsoring her first rabbinical position.
During a meeting, she said he berated her for being unmarried, told her to put her 'womb to work', then suggested that she be a 'pilegesh' which is an ancient Hebrew word for concubine or mistress. 
She alleged that he then told her he believed concubinage should be reinstated and that she should become his. 
'He set a horrifying standard of what women who work in the Jewish community were expected to endure,' she said. 
Two other women who did not want to be named described similar mistreatment. 
After the news broke on Thursday, female rabbis spoke out to describe the allegations as the 'worst kept secret' in the Jewish community.  
In a statement, Steinhardt said: 'In my nearly 80 years on earth I have never tried to touch any woman or man inappropriately. 
'As I have said before, I deeply regret cavalierly making comments in professional settings that were boorish, disrespectful and just plain dumb. They were part of my shtick since before I had a penny to my name, and I unequivocally meant them in jest. I fully understand why they were inappropriate. I am sorry. I never intended to cause any embarrassment, discomfort or pain.
'There’s no dispute that my attempts at humor could be provocative. As an example, it’s well known that I would often say at events with young people, ‘Look around, if any of you who are here now marry each other I will give you a free honeymoon on a Caribbean Island.’ 
'And I gave 30 or 40 honeymoons. It was a conspicuous pattern. I hope my inappropriate banter, which was always meant in a lighthearted way, does not now become twisted into being something it is not.'  
His charity also published a letter condemning the Times' article. 
'Admittedly, Michael’s sense of humor can be insensitive, and he has apologized for the unintended bad feelings his remarks have caused...
'To characterize provocative remarks made in jest and in group settings as actual propositions intentionally distorts the context as well as Michael's intent -- in order to fabricate something that never happened,' it said in part. 
'Did Michael constantly try to fix people up and make inappropriate jokes? Of course he did. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that the article goes out of its way to make these comments sound insidious,' it went on. 
It claimed the journalist 'ignored' flattering statements given by others in the community which contradicted the women's stories.  
Last year, after an investigation into Steinhardt's behavior, the Hillel association did not pursue a $50,000 donation he had pledged and removed him from its international board of governors. 
In 2012 and 2013, two sexual harassment suits were filed against a New York art gallery where Steinhardt was an important client.
While Steinhardt was not a defendant, he was mentioned as having made sexually loaded remarks to female employees of the gallery who were expected to put up with it.
Both suits were 'resolved amicably with confidentiality agreements,' the women's lawyer, Jeffrey Pollack, told the Times.
Married New York billionaire and philanthropist Michael Steinhardt, 78, is accused of sexual harassment by six women who say he asked them to sleep with him and have threesomes while they courted him for donations (3 Pics) Married New York billionaire and philanthropist Michael Steinhardt, 78, is accused of sexual harassment by six women who say he asked them to sleep with him and have threesomes while they courted him for donations (3 Pics) Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 10:47 Rating: 5

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