Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Last New Yorker, Bernie Madoff And A LES Connection

A stock market scam was part of the plot of the Last New Yorker. It made think of something which I had neglected,i.e. is there a LES connection to Madoff? From a article about Madoff in which his brother Peter, a Tenement Museum trustee, wrote
Peter Madoff, a trustee of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, wrote a line on that institution's website about his family's roots: "My grandparents ran a Turkish bath in the area that served as a focal point for many new immigrants of different nationalities." Census and marriage records show that the Madoff grandparents came to the U.S. from Poland, Romania, and Austria between 1900 and 1905.
Bernie, when he rode through the area many decades later, would occasionally point out places where his family had lived or worked. But though he embraced the family's gritty immigrant success story, he avoided talking about his own parents and his more suburban upbringing. Bernie and Peter Madoff were raised in Laurelton, a middle-class area of Queens. Located beyond the end of the subway line on the border of Long Island's Nassau County, Laurelton felt more like a village in those days than a part of New York City. Families would run into each other at the local Chinese restaurant, the ice-cream parlor, and the Laurelton Jewish Center. The Madoffs -- the parents, Ralph and Sylvia; the boys, Bernie and Peter; and their older sister, Sondra -- lived in a modest three-bedroom brick house with a detached garage on 228th Street, a broad, tree-lined street with a grassy median.

I began searching for Madoff's in the census. I found none on the LES. Actually, I later discovered the Madoff paternal ancestors were mostly in the Scranton, Pa area. Then I realized that Peter was talking about his maternal grandparents. His mother was Sylvia Muntner. Sure enough I found Harry, with a daughter in the family named Sylvia, running a bath house on Essex Street. Hmm? Some Kvers knew a LES Muntner at Seward Park High School. I know one too. It's not a common name.

No comments: