The IRS has announced it is investigating the United Church of Christ for its having hosted Barack Obama for a speech at its annual meeting last year.
While it is yet to be demonstrated that the UCC violated any laws or regulations, it seems that they had only invited Senator Obama (perhaps because of his personal affiliation with the UCC) and not offered other presidential candidates “equal time” – a point noted in the IRS letter to the UCC.
For our part, the OU thinks it is worthwhile and important for the Orthodox community’s synagogues and other institutions to serve as a conduit for political candidates to meet with our community and discuss issues and concerns. But we urge everyone to be careful of the rules that non-profit entities such as synagogues must abide by. A helpful guide, from the IRS, on these matters is accessible from our website.