The shocking news of Mark Madoff’s suicide was followed by disbelief as the Jewish community learned of the family’s plan to have his body cremated. Misaskim has been contacted numerous times since the family’s decision was publicized in the media, and asked whether anything could be done to arrange a Jewish burial for Mark’s body. People from many communities across the nation have called the organization with their concerns, some even offering a free burial plot. According to Jewish belief, cremation is never an option, due to the irreparable trauma it causes to one’s soul.
Misaskim pooled its resources and worked tirelessly to offer the family its assistance in arranging a Jewish burial. Misaskim was in close contact with the law enforcement community, the funeral home, the media, and even with individuals who themselves were victims of the ponzi scheme, in an effort to head off an even more tragic turn of events than what has already transpired.
“Mark was Jewish, and that’s the only factor that is of concern to Misaskim,” said the volunteer who is spearheading the effort. At this point, Misaskim is saddened to report that the organization has not made much progress in preventing the cremation, yet the Misaskim remains committed to its mission of safeguarding the dignity of the deceased.
Unfortunantly, a statment released by his widow, Stephanie Madoff, early this afternoon said that Mark had been cremated, and said there would be a private memorial service “later this week at an undisclosed location.”
She also said “my husband Mark took his own life,” said Stephanie Madoff, “and regardless of what you feel about my father-in-law and his monstrous crimes, Mark’s children are innocent victims and this is tragic for them. I am devastated and now raising two small children alone.”
(YWN Desk – NYC)