Non-profit

Theodore Albert Von Der Ahe Jr Trust

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)-PF

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The Theodore Albert Von Der Ahe Jr. Trust is a grantmaking foundation based in Pasadena, California. It is the personal trust fund of Theodore (Ted) Albert Von Der Ahe Jr. Ted inherited the bulk of his fortune from his father, Theodore Albert Von Der Ahe, who was one of the co-founders of the California-based grocery store chain Vons. 1

The trust is used to promote Ted Von Der Ahe Jr.’s left-of-center views. Von Der Ahe Jr. is a former Roman Catholic priest 2 and uses much of his trust to support theologically liberal Christian organizations. 3

Among the causes Von Der Ahe Jr. has supported are organizations that are in support of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel. It was a supporter of the organization Friends of Sabeel North America FOSNA, which is an affiliate of a Palestinian Christian organization critics have identified as anti-Semitic. 4

The trust is also a supporter of the Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE). CLUE is a member of the radical left-wing “Check the Sheriff” coalition. The coalition is seeking the removal from office of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva (D). It is demanding his resignation and the investigation of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office by the California Attorney General. 5

Overview

The Theodore Albert Von Der Ahe Jr. Trust is a grantmaking institution based in Pasadena, California. It is the personal trust fund of Theodore (Ted) Albert Von Der Ahe Jr. The trust formally received tax exempt status from the IRS in July 1979. 6

Von Der Ahe Jr. is an heir to the California-based Vons grocery store fortune. Vons, which was one of the first grocery store chains in America, was co-founded by his father, Theodore Albert Von Der Ahe. The elder Von Der Ahe passed away in June 1978. 7

Von Der Ahe Jr., a former Roman Catholic priest, 8 uses the bulk of the trust’s grants to support theologically liberal causes. It also supports more secular left-of-center causes. 9

A major focus of Von Der Ahe Jr’s activism and giving is anti-war and other causes which oppose U.S. foreign policy. In March 2008, Pope Benedict XVI visited the United States. Von Der Ahe Jr. was a signatory to a letter, along with 1250 other theologically liberal Catholics that including radicals such as CODEPINK activist Cindy Sheehan, which called upon the pope to protest the Iraq War during his visit. Among the demands of the letter was a call for the Pope to refuse to meet with then-U.S. President George W. Bush. 10

The trust has no employees and has no board of directors. Von Der Ahe Jr. is the sole trustee. 11

Finances

According to the 2020 tax return, the trust gave out $236,700 in grants. It had a net income that year of $256,638 from interest and dividends and the sale of assets. It had $4.9 million in assets. 12

Among the donations to left-of-center and radical organizations were a $5,000 grant to the community organizing group Los Angeles Community Action Network, a $4,000 grant to the Middle East Children’s Alliance, a $10,000 grant to Partners in Health, a $5,000 grant to the controversial self-appointed watchdog of extremist groups the Southern Poverty Law Center, a $4,000 grant to the left-wing Teaching for Change, a $2,340 grant to the left-of-center environmentalist organization Earth Island Institute, a $3,000 grant to the radical environmentalist organization 350.org, a $4,000 grant to the left-of-center organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a $4,000 grant to the radical environmentalist organization Greenpeace, and a $4,000 grant to the International Labor Rights Forum. 13

The trust also awarded a $5,000 grant to the Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA). 14 FOSNA is an affiliate of Jerusalem’s Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center. Sabeel teaches an anti-Semitic doctrine that the “church has replaced the Jews in God’s plan.” Its founder, Palestinian Anglican priest Naim Ateek frequently uses anti-Semitic imagery such as accusing the Israeli government of having a “crucifixion system.” FOSNA and Sabeel are supporters of the anti-Semitic BDS movement. Between 2002 and 2014, the trust gave $35,000 to FOSNA. 15

The trust also awarded a $4,000 grant to the labor-union supported Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE). 16 CLUE is a part of a radical coalition called “Check the Sheriff” which is calling for the resignation or removal of Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva (D). It is also calling for the investigation of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office by the California Attorney General. 17

References

  1. “Theodore Albert Von Der Ahe (1908-1978)”. 2021. Find A Grave. Accessed August 23. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/146080771/theodore-albert-von_der_ahe.
  2. “Catholic Worker Altruism Isn’t Deductible – Los Angeles Times”. 2007. Reformed Angler. https://reformed-angler.blogspot.com/2007/03/catholic-worker-altruism-isnt.html.
  3.  “Form 990”. 2020. Propublica. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/953371127/11_2020_prefixes_91-99%2F953371127_202001_990PF_2020110617416051.
  4. Harrod, Dr. Andrew. 2016. “Progressivism’S New Hate On Campus”. Capital Research Center. https://capitalresearch.org/article/bds/.
  5. “About — Check The Sheriff Coalition”. 2021. Check The Sheriff Coalition. Accessed August 23. https://www.checkthesheriff.com/about.
  6. “Form 990”. 2020. Propublica. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/953371127/11_2020_prefixes_91-99%2F953371127_202001_990PF_2020110617416051.
  7. “Theodore Albert Von Der Ahe (1908-1978)”. 2021. Find A Grave. Accessed August 23. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/146080771/theodore-albert-von_der_ahe.
  8. “Catholic Worker Altruism Isn’t Deductible – Los Angeles Times”. 2007. Reformed Angler. https://reformed-angler.blogspot.com/2007/03/catholic-worker-altruism-isnt.html.
  9. “Form 990”. 2020. Propublica. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/953371127/11_2020_prefixes_91-99%2F953371127_202001_990PF_2020110617416051.
  10. “Letter Urges Pope To Protest War During U.S. Visit”. 2008. Stranger In A Strangeland. https://portinexile.blogspot.com/2008/03/letter-urges-pope-to-protest-war-during.html.
  11. “Form 990”. 2020. Propublica. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/953371127/11_2020_prefixes_91-99%2F953371127_202001_990PF_2020110617416051.
  12. “Form 990”. 2020. Propublica. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/953371127/11_2020_prefixes_91-99%2F953371127_202001_990PF_2020110617416051.
  13. “Form 990”. 2020. Propublica. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/953371127/11_2020_prefixes_91-99%2F953371127_202001_990PF_2020110617416051.
  14. “Form 990”. 2020. Propublica. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/953371127/11_2020_prefixes_91-99%2F953371127_202001_990PF_2020110617416051.
  15. Harrod, Dr. Andrew. 2016. “Progressivism’S New Hate On Campus”. Capital Research Center. https://capitalresearch.org/article/bds/.
  16. “Form 990”. 2020. Propublica. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/953371127/11_2020_prefixes_91-99%2F953371127_202001_990PF_2020110617416051.
  17. “About — Check The Sheriff Coalition”. 2021. Check The Sheriff Coalition. Accessed August 23. https://www.checkthesheriff.com/about.
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