J Street is largely funded by a donor from Hong Kong.
Some press reports have noted a large contribution on our 2009 tax return from a resident of Hong Kong named Consolacion Esdicul. The explanation for this is straightforward: Bill Benter, a philanthropist and political activist from Pittsburgh, is a major supporter of and contributor to J Street. He is a generous donor to a range of causes related to his hometown, national politics and the Arab-Israeli conflict, and a passionate advocate for peace.
As we were launching J Street, Bill committed to contribute and to help raise substantial funds for the effort should we get it off the ground. One contribution he helped raise was from Ms. Esdicul, a business associate from Hong Kong, where he lives for part of the year and has business holdings.
The Esdicul contribution represents a significant portion of the one tax filing that was leaked – and seems high when viewed in isolation – but it represents only a small percentage of the money raised by all aspects of J Street since it was launched.