Ah, Kars4Kids, the earworm jingle that probably popped into your heads the moment you read that headline. Beyond providing a delivery device for the world's most irritating jingle, Kars4Kids is supposed to be a charity that does... something. The commercials are never really clear what happens after you donate your car today. And consistent with its somewhat mysterious message of charity, members of a Staten Island synagogue are accusing Kars4Kids of using their temple to hide assets from the IRS.
According to the Post, members of the Young Israel of Eltingville synagogue on Staten Island filed court papers accusing the religious organization associated with the charity, Congregation Oorah, of trying to operate out of Young Israel in order to hide their "more questionable financial dealings."
The court battle stems from an older fight between Young Israel and Congregation Oorah. That fight started with a secret deal made between Young Israel's former president and Oorah to add the organization to the temple's deed in exchange for $250,000 and building upgrades. When Oorah sought to turn some of the temple's worship space into a classroom, Young Israel members and Oorah went in front of a religious court that awarded Oorah one million dollars. That ruling was appealed in State Supreme Court and is still being litigated.
Congregation Oorah gets a big chunk of the money Kars4Kids makes from reselling cars and real estate (after advertising, promotional materials and payroll). Oorah has disputed the idea that Kars4Kids is just a front for the organization, which is concerned with "awakening Jewish children and their families to their heritage." Kars4Kids has also been found to use a suspicious amount of their assets on failed real estate deals, including two high-rises in New Jersey, a Staten Island outlet mall and a mixed-use project in Jerusalem.
As for the jingle itself, what exactly makes it so irritating has actually been studied by science. It turns out the song's reliance on repetition and simple melodic lines mean that if you're older than 4 or 5-years-old, you're going to be driven crazy by it.