Rosenberg Fund for Children

Rosenberg Fund for Children


* Assets: $5,229,062 (2018)
* Grants Received: $704,058 (2018)
* Grants Awarded: $331,936 (2018)

In 1990 Robert Meeropol — a Springfield, Massachusetts attorney and the younger son of atomic spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg — created the Rosenberg Fund for Children (RFC), which claims to provide “support for the children of targeted progressive activists and targeted activist youth. . . . [and] “for the educational and emotional needs of children whose parents have suffered because of their progressive activities and who therefore are no longer able to provide fully for their children.” The funds cover such expenses as school or daycare tuition; therapy; art or music lessons; cultural enrichment programs; private tutoring; and travel to visit an incarcerated relative. Supported by contributions from some 7,500 individual donors, since its inception the RFC has made grants of this type on behalf of more than 200 children. In practice, the grants, which are limited to $2,000 apiece, are awarded to the individuals or organizations providing the services, and not to the children or their families directly.

The RFC website states: “The Fund bears the name of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, who were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. On June 19, 1953, the Rosenbergs were executed because they refused to implicate others by falsely confessing to giving the ‘secret’ of the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union.”  The word “falsely” has been confounded by recent history.  In 1995, the CIA released “the Venona Cables” — decoded Soviet communications that document, along with other espionage doings, the activities of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev himself mentions the Rosenbergs in his memoirs, identifying them as spies for Russia. Recently released KGB files support Khrushchev’s assertion.

In actuality, the Rosenberg Fund is not a fund for “children.” Nor is it even a fund for children whose parents are the victims of miscarriages of justice. Rather, it is a support group for the children of self-described “political prisoners.” The first beneficiaries of the Fund were the children of the “Ohio Seven,” a group of radicals who had formed a “revolutionary” cell and were convicted of numerous bank robberies and bombings (against multinational corporations that invested in apartheid South Africa) during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Another group of early RFC beneficiaries were the children of members of the Communist Worker’s Party, a Stalinist sect whose leaders had entered the community of Greensboro, North Carolina to urge people to “Kill the Klan” and were chanting “Death to the Klan” in a public square when they were fired upon and killed themselves.

The RFC Advisory Board includes such notables as Anthony Arnove, Ed Asner, Harry Belafonte, Angela Davis, Leonard Peltier, Susan Sarandon, and Pete Seeger.

Another radical leftist with close ties to the RFC is Linda Evans, who, before receiving executive clemency from President Bill Clinton on January 20, 2001, had served 15 years of a 40-year federal sentence. At the time of her arrest in 1985, Evans had 740 pounds of dynamite in her possession and a list of targets that included the U.S. Capitol Building, the National War College, the Washington Navy Yard Computer Center, the Washington Navy Yard Officers Club, the headquarters of the FBI, and the offices of the New York Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. A website sympathetic to Evans describes her activities in the 1980s as “working to develop clandestine resistance capable of conducting armed struggle as part of a multi-level overall revolutionary strategy.”

The RFC also claims a close relationship with Tom Manning, a domestic terrorist who was captured in 1985 and sentenced to 58 years by federal courts after he had participated in a series of bombings. An unapologetic Manning calls these bombing “armed propaganda against apartheid and U.S. imperialism.” Manning also took part in the murder of a New Jersey state trooper, Philip Lamonaco, four days before Christmas in 1981.

In his recent talks delivered on campuses across the United States, Robert Meeropol has embraced yet another celebrity radical: cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, who Meeropol singles out as the first “political prisoner” in the U.S. to face execution since his own parents, the Rosenbergs. “About once a generation,” says Meeropol, “our government has to demonstrate the dangerous nature of those who work to transform our society by executing those who symbolize radical social movements.”

This profile is largely derived from two articles: (1)Julius and Ethel Rosenberg’s Un-American Legacy,” written by Edward Renehan, Jr. and published by on July 11, 2002; and (2) “Guilt of the Son,” written by David Horowitz and published by on June 23, 2002.

(Information on grantees and monetary amounts courtesy of The Foundation Center, GuideStar, ActivistCash, the Capital Research Center and Undue Influence)

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