"WASP" decline: NYG&B edition

3 Years After a Windfall, an Unexpected Reality for the Genealogical Society:
Since 1869, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society has made its name helping New Yorkers understand their roots. But the more the society pondered its future, the more the people at its helm became convinced that it needed to break with its past.

Making what they called a “forward-looking decision,” the trustees hung a for-sale sign on the society’s longtime home at 122 East 58th Street several years ago. Then — to the shock of the society’s own members, who were still reeling from the sale — the trustees gave the society’s vast collection of scholarly books and historic papers to the New York Public Library.

The radical downsizing may have been as pragmatic as it was bold, but the timing could have been better.

The building was sold in 2007, and one-fourth of the $24 million that the society raised from the sale washed away as the stock market eroded. That, together with high administrative costs, led the society to make large staff reductions in early 2009, just as the new owners of its old headquarters sold them again — this time for $28.5 million.
The new owners: a synagogue. In a comment, the new NYGBS president insists:
there is no doubt whatever that the choices were carefully, thoroughly, and thoughtfully considered by dedicated trustees and by the consultants who advised them over an extended period of time.
I don't doubt most of the trustees were doing what they thought was best. But I'd be curious to know the names of the consultants involved.


Chris said...

what could be better than a new venue for celebrity jews to complain about their victimhood?

Anonymous said...

Oy vey, everything they don't agree with is a "controversy." That is incessantly used in the media. Even harmless defenses of one's tradition, ooo that's so controversial.

No matter the issue, everything to them comes back to is it good for Jews, which in almost every case is bad for those of European descent.

Anonymous said...

104 year old heiress + jewish business ethics =

In February 2010, Clark became the subject of a series of reports on msnbc.com, which said caretakers at her three residences had not seen her in decades.[5] Msnbc.com's Bill Dedman later determined that she was in the care of a New York City hospital, and that some of her personal possessions had been quietly sold. Possessions sold included a rare 1709 violin called La Pucelle (or The Virgin) made by Antonio Stradivari and an 1882 Pierre-Auguste Renoir painting entitled "In the Roses". [4] Building staff reported that she was frail but not ill when Clark left her Fifth Avenue co-op in an ambulance in 1988. Initially she took up residence at Mount Sinai Medical Center to be more comfortable but was later transferred to another hospital in Manhattan.[6]

In August 2010, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office initiated a probe into her affairs managed by her accountant, Irving Kamsler, and her attorney, Wallace Bock.[7] Then a former paralegal for Wallace Bock's law firm said that Bock received many lavish gifts from Huguette including a $1.5 million gift to build a bomb shelter in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank near the homes of his daughters after 9/11.[8] According to the paralegal, Bock tried many times to get Clark to sign a will, including versions that included him as a beneficiary. Bock's spoken acknowledged that she has a will.[9] In September, a judge turned down a request from a grand-nephew and two grand-nieces to appoint an independent guardian to manage Clark's affairs.[10]


Anonymous said...

A booking photo from the arrest of Huguette Clark's accountant, Irving H. Kamsler, charged with attempting to distribute indecent material to 13- and 15-year-old girls online. He pleaded guilty in 2008 and remains a registered sex offender. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38733524/ns/business-local_business

Anonymous said...

Jews desecrate colonial New Jersey cemetery...

Descendants file complaint over site "desecration"


HOLMDEL — The family that owns the 257-year-old cemetery abutting the Beau Ridge development off Laurel Avenue has filed a formal complaint with police against the association and its board of directors, accusing them of approving the "desecration" of the family graveyard.

"No one in the Hendricks or Hendrickson family authorized the board of directors of the Beau Ridge Homeowners Association to do anything to the Hendrickson Cemetery," said Dr. Andrew Hendricks, a descendant of Dutch immigrants who settled in Monmouth County 300 years ago.

Hendricks, president of the Hendricks and Hendrickson Family Association, said the family's last contact with the association was in 1999, when they held a family reunion. At that time, the association granted the family access to the cemetery.

But last week, Beau Ridge resident Terence Wall learned that many of the almost 60 tombstones had been removed, with some 10 others stacked in a pile. Calls to the association unveiled a plan to clean up and refurbish the grave site.

"The association is in the process of removing many of the old monuments, cleaning out the area of any additional debris, and resetting brand new 16' x 8' flat black granite markers on top of new concrete foundations," property manager Barbara Strubel wrote in a letter to the community's 250 members. "We were able to salvage a number of the names from some of the graves, and those that had no name visible will be marked as "Hendrickson Relative.' By doing this, we are restoring the cemetery per a Hendrickson's family member's request back in 2000 and also eliminating a huge safety hazard. We assure you all that all of this work is being completed in the utmost respect for those buried there."

Board President Edward Elzer said three monthly meetings open to all 250 of its members were held before the board voted to spend $10,000 on the refurbishment.

Association board members said they conducted extensive research on how to best go about refurbishing the grave site they were charged to maintain, by contacting the municipality and the local historical society.