New York – Elite Manhattan Philanthropists Identified As Key Funders Of Anti-Vax Movement


     Inside an anti-vaccine forum in Brooklyn earlier this month geared to the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community(Shimon Gifter/ York – With the New York area’s Jewish community still facing repercussions and acts of hostility because of the latest measles outbreak, a new report has identified a wealthy Manhattan couple as a significant source of funding for the anti-vaccination movement.

    According to a report today by the Washington Post (, Bernard and Lisa Selz have been contributing large sums of money to groups that question the MMR vaccine’s safety and success for the past seven years, with $3 million donated to the cause since 2016.

    A 79 year old philanthropist with four decades of experience in the securities business, Bernard Selz runs Selz Capital, which holds a portfolio valued at upwards of $500 million.

    His wife Lisa has been involved in managing the Selz Foundation for over 25 years, supporting humanitarian, environmental, cultural and artistic causes. Their support of the anti-vaccination movement has given the small but vocal group that opposes immunizations the ability to spread their message to the masses, a factor that has played a key role in the latest outbreak that has soared to record numbers, with 868 measles cases confirmed in New York City and Rockland County since October.

    Since 2016, the Selz Foundation has been the main funding source for the Informed Consent Action Network, whose stated mission is to eradicate man made disease by “exposing shortcoming with our vaccine program” and promoting parental choice. Tax records show that the Selzes donated $100,000 to ICAN when it was first launched in 2016, upping their support considerably in 2017 when they donated $1.05 million, an amount that comprised approximately 75 percent of the organization’s annual budget.

    The Selzes were also among the primary funders of an anti-immunization documentary charging the CDC with destroying information linking vaccinations and autism whose producers included ICAN founder Dell Bigtree. A self-proclaimed expert on immunization safety, Bigtree has been the featured speaker at two recent anti-vaccination events aimed at the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn and in Monsey. Speaking to reporters in Brooklyn about parents who refuse to vaccinate their children Bigtree said, “They should be allowed to have the measles if they want the measles. It’s crazy that there’s this level of intensity around a trivial childhood illness.”

    Numerous measles-related anti-Semitic incidents have been reported in recent weeks. A Chasidic woman found herself subjected to obscenities by an Uber driver who made a comment about “measles people,” as previously reported on VIN News (, while a B57 bus driver was placed on limited duty after making a measles-related remark to a Chasidic passenger.
     Del Bigtree at an anti-vaccine forum in Brooklyn earlier this month geared to the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.(Shimon Gifter/
    (L-R) Late Arthur Stamm, Bernard Selz and President of LaGuardia Community College Gail Mellow

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    1. Shame on my fellow ultra Orthodox Jews who went to Albany lest week screaming and showing fists to the politicians.
      These anti vaxxers are a Shanda to the entire frum community.
      They cause antisemitism and a Chilul Hashem.

      Satmar in Monsey NY did a courageous act this week by placing security guards making sure that kids who are not vaccinated will not enter their premises. Shame on those crazy parents who have no mercy on their children.

      • You don’t know the details. There’s lots more to the story than is being told….
        I have met parents who are convinced that their child have been injured from a vaccine. And most of them told me the same thing. They were brushed aside and told that its coincidental, without even listening to the details. I do not know these individuals. Perhaps they have had a child injured from the vaccine and are really emotional and upset about what’s going on?
        Where is the dan l’kaf zchus? Where is the empathy for another fellow yid? Maybe there is a legitimate explanation. Why is the assumption that is another yid is skeptical regarding vaccination, they must want cancer patients and babies to die?
        My experience is most of these people are concerned for their children just as you are. And I can assure you that their they have their best intentions in mind just as you are.
        Shame on you for believing the hateful media. They’re not looking to make us look good. As is the case all too often. Don’t assume that this time it’s justified. Be dan l’kaf zchus, it’s the Jewish way.


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