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Recently a friend of mine asked me the following question. He pledged $500- to a Yeshiva, yet before he paid the pledge the Yeshiva closed. Does he still have to pay his pledge to another Tzedaka or is he absolved? Is there a difference if the Tzedaka closed and remained in debt or if it closed and satisfied all outstanding debts? Is there a difference if the organization had bylaws specifying what happens to their assets on dissolution? (As always CYLOR)

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Just wondering, why doesn't he just do Hatarat Nedarim to take himself out of any Safek? – Hacham Gabriel Feb 12 '12 at 0:59
Speculation: if the organization had bylaws specifying what happens to their assets on dissolution (as I suspect most do if they have a board and a bank account), perhaps he owes his pledge to the designated recipient? – Monica Cellio Feb 12 '12 at 3:10
Who else read the title quickly and thought the question was closed? – Double AA Feb 12 '12 at 5:27
On a similar note as @MonicaCellio, The Yeshiva may still have debts even if they are no longer in business. – YDK Feb 12 '12 at 5:43
I've recently heard of a non-profit that is thinking of dissolving because of debt it owes, and reopening with a similar board and the same purpose but as a new legal entity under a new name and bylaws. I suppose your question can be extended to "would I need to redirect the money to the new organization?". – msh210 Feb 12 '12 at 20:16
up vote 11 down vote accepted


A: The Chazon Ish ruled that one who made up his mind to give Tzedaka to a certain poor person who was collecting, and then the poor person disappeared (similar to your case of the organization closing down) you can give the money to a different poor person (or in your case a similar institution) The best thing to do always when pledging Tzedaka is to say it's "Bli Neder", thus if you run into issues you will not have a promise to deal with. (Psak of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal)

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