Monday, January 6, 2014

Complex reality: A Developer Is Mourned and Vilified in Brooklyn

NYTimes     [See also Algemeiner]] A day after the charred body of a prominent Hasidic real estate developer was identified in a smoking trash bin on Long Island, more than a thousand mourners gathered for his funeral in the heart of Hasidic Williamsburg. They grieved for the man they called a pillar of his synagogue and his community, a father of eight who had been quick to donate and quick to lend. 

But if Menachem Stark’s name was synonymous with generosity and good deeds within his community, the developer had acquired an unsavory reputation outside it, his business dealings growing in complexity and controversy as he opened new buildings in the hot real estate markets of Williamsburg, Bushwick and Greenpoint. 

For all the speculation about his financial situation, it remained unclear on Sunday why Mr. Stark, 39, had been kidnapped from outside his office during Thursday night’s snowstorm and eventually killed. An autopsy found that Mr. Stark died from asphyxiation, indicating that he had probably been suffocated; his other injuries included bruises on his neck and back, and burn marks on his torso and hands, the police said. No arrests had been made by Sunday evening. 

From his prosperous-looking brick rowhouse on Rutledge Street in Williamsburg, Mr. Stark had raised a large family and spread his good fortune to his neighbors with an openhandedness that set him apart, friends and community leaders said. 

“This community lives on charitable donations and philanthropists,” said Gary Schlesinger, a leader within the Satmar sect of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish population that fills south Williamsburg. “People like Menachem helping out his poor brothers and sisters.”[...]


  1. And the point of this post is?
    I mean, come on. We all do good and bad. We are all complex.

  2. My heart is broken for the Stark family. May they never know more pain.
    However, I am amazed and appalled by the people lining up to condemn the NYP now and not before. Is this terrible article any better than any previous coverage they have had. Does this terrible article make us look bad as a people like that disgusting Dicker/Dodelson article? For one person we are outraged but when an article calls us archaic and other charges we remain silent. We should have boycotted the NYP long ago. Besides the shmutz that is in it cover to cover. We have stood up for our own pain but neglected that of HKBH. Now we see OUR problem. I am not condoning the Stark article chvs. He should only have an aliyas nishama and be a meilitz yoshair for his family and US who degraded the honor of HKBH.

  3. Race Baiters cause real MurdersJanuary 6, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    All the hate rhetoric by irresponsible black "leaders" to their flocks about the 'evil Jewish slumlords' will only lead to things like this.

  4. We can thank the Kotler and extended families for letting the NY Post know that smearing the frum community sells papers.

    They started that precedent.

    Don't tell me that R' M. Kotler did not know about it.... The lack of any condemnation whatsoever, is the greatest form of acquiescence. Any student of Tanach knows that.

    Just wait until the greater press turns on BMG for throwing out the father who tried to protect his son from a now-convicted molester. What goes around comes around....

  5. BDE this is a sad story, I hope the family should find comfort and the killers be brought to swift justice.
    Besides the tragedy of the murder this story highlights several recurring issues facing our community:
    A. The over reliance on wealthy donors to fund institutions and families leading to dependancy.
    B How expectations of donations in some cases creates a stumbling block for individuals leading them to unethical and possibly illegal business practices.
    C. How when these above behaviors are directed to Gentile neighbors it creates a chillul Hashem and hostile feelings towards Jews.
    D. How those acts are minimized or rationalized by individuals and the community because of unhealthy co-dependant 'donor-reciver' relationship which has been created.
    E. The ongoing issue of fair representation of the community in the secular press and what is an appropriate response to a questionable article.


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