Alicia Jo Rabins’ one-woman show reflects on the Ponzi schemer’s story through a variety of lenses.
Jewish Week Book Critic
Just a few years ago, Alicia Jo Rabins didn’t know much about the workings of Wall Street; she hadn’t yet heard of Bernard Madoff. But when the story of the largest Ponzi scheme in history unfolded, the musician, poet, Jewish educator — and admittedly broke artist — was captivated by the details of Madoff’s fraud.
Within weeks of Bernard Madoff’s arrest last December, Andrew Kirtzman had signed a deal with Harper Collins to tell the story. The veteran New York journalist, who has worked for the Daily News, NY1 and most recently WCBS News, spent the next seven months sifting through the wreckage of the con man’s life, from his childhood neighborhood of Laurelton, Queens, to Palm Beach, Fla., which became a feeding ground for Madoff’s multi-billion-dollar Ponzi scheme. Kirtzman, 48, spoke to N.Y. Minute about “Betrayal: The Life and Lies of Bernie Madoff,” which was No.
Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, may have lost $90 million invested with Bernard Madoff, but over the last 20 years it withdrew $130 million from that account, The Jewish Week has learned.
“We had no idea how much we had pulled out until a few days ago,” said a source close to the organization.
The source said Hadassah “went back through its books, year by year, to check all the records” to learn how much was withdrawn after receiving many calls from members upset with the $90 million loss.
Just days after Bernard Madoff’s arrest, senior lay and professional leaders of Hadassah huddled here to determine the extent of their loss and to figure out how they ever invested with him in the first place.
The amount lost was staggering — $90 million. There was no way to sugar coat it. The group had already delayed release of the figure by a couple of days.
A big concern was how Hadassah’s 300,000 members would react. Most of them are senior citizens who, it was believed, would be less than sympathetic to the way their money was handled.
He was all of Joseph’s brothers rolled into one.
He, of course, is Bernie Madoff. And his alleged betrayal of his financial brothers, so to speak, seems biblical in proportion — perhaps $50 billion, much of it from Madoff’s friends, people he had recruited from the country clubs of Palm Beach, Fla., and Long Island and the pews of the Fifth Avenue Synagogue, among other places.
Just hours after the arrest last Thursday of legendary financier Bernard Madoff, the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation in Boca Raton, Fla., began receiving calls from major donors who had lost huge sums in Madoff’s $50 billion fraud scheme.
After seeing the value of its endowment plunge in the economic downturn and losing $90 million entrusted to disgraced Wall Street money manager Bernard Madoff, Hadassah is turning to its donors for help.
“We want to continue to cultivate the million-dollar donors, but the grassroots supporters will get us through this,” said Nancy Falchuk, Hadassah’s national president, in an interview on Monday.
Stephanie Halio of Boca Raton, Fla., said her biggest fear after the sentencing Monday of Bernard Madoff to 150 years in prison is that "we will be forgotten."
The "we" are the victims he defrauded in his estimated $65 billion epic fraud, a disproportionate number of whom are Jewish. Nearly 9,000 victims’ claims have been filed, but the total number of people affected is estimated in the tens of thousands.
Another chapter in the Bernard Madoff saga has closed, with a federal judge this week condemning as “extraordinarily evil” the crimes of the once prominent businessman, and imposing on him the maximum sentence of 150 years.