Brooklyn, NY – Just weeks before his death, Menachem Stark a man who was known as much for his charitable donations as he was for his insistence on not publicizing his philanthropy, had agreed to be honored publicly, possibly for the first time.
Menachem Stark was one of eight individual honorees at Bonei Olam’s upcoming Williamsburg dinner taking place on January 27th, a biannual event that organizers say attracts between two and three thousand people. Stark, who was to be honored with the Rav Pualim award, will be awarded posthumously and the Stark family is setting up a genetics research fund in his memory.
“When I called Mrs. Stark to approve the ad blank, she told me that her husband never puts his name anywhere,” Shlomo Moshe Kirschner of Bonei Olam told VIN News. “I told her to call him to confirm that he was going to let us use his name. When the ad blanks came out he told his whole family that putting his name out there in public was very much not his style, but he was doing it anyway because he was going to do everything in his power to help Bonei Olam.”
Ironically, Stark told his wife just two days before his death that he was officially giving the title of honoree to her, in his place.
“He told her that she was going to take care of everything and she told us that they joked that she wouldn’t be able to accept the plaque at the dinner,” said Kirschner.
Mrs. Stark affirmed her commitment to Bonei Olam even while she was sitting shiva.
“We went to go be menachem aveil and when we got there she thanked us for giving her husband the opportunity to be involved with Bonei Olam,” said Kirschner. “She told us it was one of the last mitzvos he got involved in and since he never accepted anything of this nature, it was clearly min hashomayim and the family intended to go full force ahead with the commitment.”
After the shiva for Stark was completed, Mrs. Stark consulted with Rabbi Schlomo Bochner, founder of Bonei Olam, and according to Kirschner, the two agreed to set up the Menachem Stark Clinical Genetics Fund, to help couples who have genetic issues realize their dreams of parenthood.
“Menachem Stark’s life was cut short and taken away, but this fund will hopefully bring many new lives into this world,” said Kirschner.