For Bernard Madoff, who federal prosecutors say ran a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, there’s little hope these days of getting out for a leisurely dinner at Daniel, at Davidburke & Donatella, or at any of the tony restaurants near his manse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
The collapse of the investment firm of Bernard Madoff has opened a black hole at the center of the tight knit circles of wealthy Jews who socialize and do business together, and who, year after year, support Jewish causes. Now, the tight bonds of these cohorts are turning into shackles — ensnaring many of those who knew Madoff, trusted him, and invested with him.
The arrest of Wall Street trader Bernard L. Madoff, who federal agents say defrauded investors of an estimated $50 billion, has had immediate consequences in the Jewish philanthropic world. One charity already closed and insiders are worried that the ramifications of Madoff’s financial demise may extend to the many organizations he supported and the wealthy Jews he advised.
To the Jewish West Bank settlers who attacked Palestinian people and property in Hebron this month, it was Operation Price Tag — an attempt to increase the price to the Israeli government of evacuating them from ground they view as sacred.
Shortly before the kosher meat company Agriprocessors declared bankruptcy this fall, Aaron Rubashkin, the 82-year-old owner of the company, stood under the fluorescent lights of his Brooklyn store and spoke about what it was like to watch the collapse of the company that he created in Boro Park and expanded first to Postville, Iowa, then to Nebraska and then beyond.