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.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
No Misunderstandings
Rabbi Moshe Grylak Hashem revealed the secret of a balanced life
What Was the Court’s Rush?
Yonoson Rosenblum The Democratic Party’s descent into madness
Survey? Oy Vey
Eytan Kobre How could YAFFED promote such a farce?
Filling the Void
Rabbi Henoch Plotnik Jewish leaders don’t need to be declared or coronated
Top 5 Ways We Remember Our Rebbeim (and we love them for it!)
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin An ode to these pivotal people in my life
Hanging On in Newark
Rabbi Nosson Scherman Rabbi Nosson Scherman remembers the shul of his youth
A Fine Kettle of Fish
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman The “minor” chasadim are often the most meaningful
The Next Hill
Jacob L. Freedman The look on Malachi’s face nearly broke my heart
Tradition and Modern Meet in One Long Dance
Riki Goldstein Fusing tradition and modernity comes naturally to him
A Playlist for Shabbos
Riki Goldstein What does Moshy Kraus sing at the Shabbos table?
With Flying Colors
Riki Goldstein My 15 seconds of fame on the Carnegie Hall stage
Full Faith
Faigy Peritzman With emunah, everyone’s obligation is the same
Speechless
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Silence isn’t always golden
The Only One
With Rav Moshe Wolfson, written by Baila Vorhand Within every Jew is the flame of instinctive emunah