My assumption is that he dare not show he is fearful of humiliation, and that accordingly he did attend shul last night and today, he will continue to attend, he will make the announcements from the pulpit, if that is his duty as president. And furthermore I assume that anyone who used to shake hands with him and wish him a Good Shabbos in shul will continue to do so. It is altogether likely that Merkin will continue to act as president at least for the near term until the shul board elects a new president and tells him to desist.
But I wasn't there in shul this Shabbos so I don't really know what transpired. And for the record, if I had been there, I would not have shaken his hand or wished him a Good Shabbos. Fortune says:
(Fortune) -- It is not easy to stay on the sidelines while others are busy getting rich. Wall Street, moreover, is constitutionally predisposed to overdo things. The stereotype imagines a Wall Street populated by bulls and bears. In reality, the Street itself is neither bull nor bear but shark, constantly shifting direction in an eternal search for food. This feeding process involves massive shifts of capital, which inevitably, is sometimes misallocated. - J. Ezra Merkin, writing in an introduction to a chapter in the 75th anniversary version of Graham and Dodd's Security Analysis.And about the wonderful and warm community of the "tony" Fifth Avenue Synagogue, which I attended fairly often when I was a teenager growing up on the East Side... I will have more to say on another day.
On Wednesday night, Dec. 10, J. Ezra Merkin held a benefit at his apartment at 740 Park Avenue in Manhattan to support the Israel Museum.
Smiling, cordial, and relaxed as he displayed his world-class collection of Rothkos, he looked totally unaware that the next morning his world - and that of hundreds of others - would fall apart because of that misallocated capital.
Within 24 hours, the man with whom he entrusted his clients' money, Bernard Madoff, was arrested in what may turn out to be the biggest financial fraud in history.
If Merkin decides to attend services tonight at New York's tony Fifth Avenue Synagogue, where he is the president, it's a fair bet that he won't invoke those words, written just months ago, when he was a well-respected investor and one of the top Jewish community leaders in the country. More likely, he won't show up at all.
It's likely to be a strange scene at the synagogue, home to the likes of Ron Perelman and other prominent businessmen, and one of the places where the Bernard Madoff fraud has hit hard....