Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Bringing Honor to the Court

Binyamin Rose, Bangor, Maine

When attorney Louis Kornreich’s name came up for appointment as a federal bankruptcy judge, one colleague praised him for a rare combination of “ethical sensitivity” and “moral tenderness.” Judge Kornreich distinguished himself with his yarmulke while presiding on the bench, and for keeping a historic Orthodox community viable in Bangor, Maine

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

November 1992 It wasn’t the best of times for the Striars, a fourth-generation family from Bangor, Maine, whose name has long been associated with Jewish philanthropy. The family had founded an outerwear and winter coat company, Eastland Woolen Mill, a major employer in the area for almost a century. Foreign competition had eaten into Eastland’s profits like swarms of hungry moths. A local banker got jumpy and foreclosed on the company’s loans. To add to the sorrow, the family matriarch,SophieStriar, passed away Thanksgiving Eve. Because of the holiday, the burial was delayed to Friday — the same day Eastland filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, throwing almost 700 workers onto the unemployment lines. Amid the pain and hardship, the Striars’ son-in-law,JeromeKirstein, turned to the one man who possessed both the legal skills and the compassion to help — bankruptcy attorneyLouisKornreich. “I can’t tell you how many nights I leftLou’s office at midnight or 1 a.m. while all this was going on,” Kirstein says. Burning the midnight oil paid dividends. Within three months, Eastland emerged from bankruptcy, rehired most of their workers, and within the year returned to profitability. Today, Kirstein is a pension and insurance consultant in sunny Hollywood, Florida, but he remembers that frigid Maine winter — andLouisKornreich’s intervention — as if it were yesterday. “I don’t know how old you are,” Kirstein says during a telephone interview, “but do you remember a performer from an old show who would spin a bunch of plates in the air on sticks at the same time and none of them broke? That’s whatLou did. And he didn’t just do it for us. With his ability to manage all the balls that were juggling in midair, he got the family, the creditors, the banks, and new investors to see the benefits of keeping this business going.”


To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

When Tragedy Strikes
Shoshana Friedman What are we giving and what are we getting?
One Nation, Divisible
Yonoson Rosenblum Israel isn’t yet suffocated by political correctness
What Am I, Chopped Liver?
Eytan Kobre Far more disturbing is the title’s unspoken implication
Not Just Politics
Yisroel Besser We’re fighting over something that means the world to us
Are We There Yet?
Alexandra Fleksher Seeing other models of avodas Hashem enriches our own
Top 5 Yeshivish Business Ventures
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Different answers to “So, what is it you do?”
Work/Life Solutions with Mois Navon
Moe Mernick “When you set a goal, it’s going to take lots of effort”
Were They Orthodox Jews?
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman This is why I asked, “What difference does it make?”
You Get What You Pay For
Jacob L. Freedman “Get me a real doctor from Harvard who speaks Persian!”
Tunes That Take Me Back, with Levy Falkowitz
Riki Goldstein “It’s amazing how strong music memories are”
All Rivers Wind Up in the Sea
Riki Goldstein Your heartbeat will slow down listening to the new album
Faigy Peritzman A name symbolizes the essence inherent within
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Inject positivity into your marriage to counter burnout
The Game of Life
Rebbetzin Suri Gibber Use your competitive spirit to score high in life
The Musician Part II
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer “It’s an integrative therapy approach. Not boot camp”