(December 22, 2019 / JNS) A crowdfunding campaign raised more than $1.5 million primarily from Orthodox and Chassidic donors for the family of Leah Mindel Ferencz, 33, who was shot and killed on Dec. 10 in the Jersey City kosher grocery that she owned with her husband, The Forward reported on Thursday.
Chesky Deutsch, a local Chassidic resident of Jersey City unrelated to another victim of the shooting Moshe Deutsch, started the campaign for the Ferencz family on the crowdfunding site Charidy.com on the eve of the deadly attack.
Moshe Schapiro, a Chabad rabbi in the nearby city of Hoboken, helped spread word through Chabad channels and the campaign was supported by three call centers, organized by a Chassidic media consultant in Brooklyn and Monsey, N.Y., which solicited donations primarily through the use of family directories for yeshivahs.
The fund will help Moshe Ferencz, Mindel’s husband, with his reported deep debt from operating the kosher supermarket, while the majority of it will be reserved for rent, tuition bills for the couple’s three children and the costs of therapy for the family. It is being handled by a small board, including Schapiro, a financial adviser, the rabbi of the synagogue located next to the kosher grocery and Moshe Ferencz’s brother.
There is slight confusion regarding the distribution of the money since Deutsch, who launched the fund, told The Forward that it is meant to go to the families of each of the three victims. Schapiro, on the other hand, said that Leah Mindel’s husband will have full control of the fund when he feels up for it; in the meantime, his brother is serving as his proxy for how to use the money.
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