Jewish Community Mourns David Wichs, z”l

NEW YORK -
The crane that collapsed Friday onto Worth St. in New York. (Kevin R. Wexler/The Record via AP)
The crane that collapsed Friday onto Worth St. in New York. (Kevin R. Wexler/The Record via AP)

The New York Jewish community was shocked and saddened by the tragic petirah of David Wichs, z”l, 38, who was killed in a crane collapse in lower Manhattan on Friday morning. At his levayah, held on Sunday afternoon, he was remembered for his brilliant mind and giving heart.

“This is understandably unbearably painful for the family and all who love David,” Rabbi Elie Weinstock, Rabbi of Kehillath Jeshurun, where Mr. Wichs and his wife were members, told Hamodia. “David was a genuinely religious and most positive person who made an impact and impression on everyone — everyone — he encountered: family, friends, colleagues, strangers.”

He went on to describe the niftar as someone with “a lot of love and positive energy who was generous and thought of others always before himself.”

David Wichs was born in Prague, in what was then Communist Czechoslovakia. According to a family friend, despite emigrating while still a young boy, he acutely remembered feeling the rabid anti-Semitism around him. The family emigrated to the United States, settling in Brooklyn, where he attended the Yeshivah of Flatbush.

Despite, knowing very little English and no Hebrew, upon his entrance to the Day School, young David quickly distinguished himself as a stellar student and in 1995 he was a finalist in the prestigious Westinghouse Science Talent Search. He continued on to Harvard University where he earned a degree in mathematics. For the last 15 years, Mr. Wichs worked at Tower Research Capital, a financial services firm.

Three years ago he married Rebecca Guttman, and the couple settled on the Upper West Side.

At a tearful levayah held at Kehillath Jeshurun, Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, Rabbi Emeritus of the shul, described the niftar as “a unique man whose life was a life of giving: giving from his possessions to causes he believed in passionately.”

“He gave an unusually large part of his income, but he gave of his person to everybody sitting here,” he said. “He was a supreme mentch in every respect.”

The kevurah took place at Congregation Ahavath Torah’s cemetery, called “Passaic Junction,” in Saddle Brook, NJ.

Mr. Wichs is survived by his parents, Dr. Thomas and Dr. Adela Wichs of Flatbush; wife, Mrs. Rebbeca Wichs; mother-in-law, Mrs. Gilda Guttman; and brother, Mr. Daniel Wichs.

Yehi Zichro Baruch.