Sunday, August 02, 2009

Aaron Feuerstein

12 of the Fifth Month 5769

This is an old story, but new to me, and well-worth mentioning.
(Wikipedia) When the Malden Mills factory burnt down on December 11, 1995, Aaron Feuerstein decided not only to use his insurance money to rebuild it, but also to pay the salaries of all the now-unemployed workers while it was being rebuilt. Feuerstein spent millions keeping all 3,000 employees on the payroll with full benefits for 6 months. By going against common CEO business practices, especially at a time when most companies were downsizing and moving overseas, he achieved a small degree of fame.

This inspiring video was put together for the NCSY West Coast Spring Regional Conference, 2006. The interviews of Mr. Feruestein came from "60 Minutes." Feuerstein is a member of Young Israel of Brookline.

Mr. Feruestein did the right thing. However, it is important to note that Jewish investments in Galuth NEVER produce the material and spiritual returns that they have the potential to do in Israel.

Please [click to enlarge and] read this brief section from Em HaBanim Smeichah by HaRav Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal ztz"l, pp. 317-318, and you will learn why.


Leora said...

Thank you for posting this story. The family gave much money to Jewish education, of which my brother and I were beneficiaries.

Esser Agaroth said...

Thanks, Leora. I am not sure what you will think of the section I just added, though. It is not to reflect badly on Mr. Feuerstein, but to put things in context for those Jews still whiling away in Galuth.

Bob Martin said...

Glad to see the reference to Rav Teichtal's work. I've been surprised to learn that almost nobody in the Yeshiva world knows about this important document.

Perhaps somebody will reprint this book and make it widely available.

kol tuv

Esser Agaroth said...

To the person who just left a comment. I am afraid I cannot publish it.

If you remove one of the sentences, I can. With both of those sentences together, I am afraid I cannot.

Esser Agaroth said...

...I am afraid I cannot edit comments on Blogger.

Esser Agaroth said...

No surprises there.

How many of them think they're Jewish anyway?

Probably a fair few.

Daniel said...

I am honored to have his nephew as my rabbi

MoralHeroes said...

Thank you for your great post on Aaron. Putting his employees and his community first is such a welcome change to modern business practices. Thanks for featuring him.

Because of the great deed you listed here he is also featured as hero of the week over at