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Madoff Scheme Brings to Light Jewish Artifacts

Since Bernard Madoff’s December arrest, victims of his Ponzi scheme have been selling off not only their real estate and their jewelry, but also their Judaica, according to a New York-based auctioneer.

Jonathan Greenstein, whose eponymous company auctions off “rare antique and artisan Judaica” told The New York Post’s Page Six that Jewish artifacts that “haven’t seen the light of day in generations” are going on the block — courtesy of Madoff’s victims.

Case in point: a diamond-encrusted yad dating back to 18th-century Holland and a Torah crown. Greenstein said that these items, slated to be auctioned off on June 8, are owned by Rhea Schindler, the widow of the late Reform movement leader Rabbi Alexander Schindler.

Schindler was the second president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations — the predecessor of the Union for Reform Judaism.

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