Jewish Man Returns $1,400, Wallet to Bronx Resident

By Matis Glenn

BROOKLYN — In a moving display of kiddush Hashem, a Chasiddish Boro Park resident returned a wallet stuffed with $1,400 in cash and other valuable items to its owner last Thursday. The finder, who wishes not to be identified, discovered the wallet while on vacation with his family to Governor’s Island.

The wallet lacked a driver’s license or other clearly identifiable information, so he enlisted the help of N.Y. State Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein to find the owner. Through some detective work, the assemblyman was able to track down Mr. Christopher Collins, a Bronx man, who travelled to Boro Park by train to gratefully claim his belongings. “I’m thankful to find out that there are people out there that care enough to give me back my wallet with all my things in it,” Collins said, in a video of the meeting, which included the finder, Mr. Eichenstein, and Mr. Collins.

The video of the return surfaced on Monday, four days after it occurred, because, “In a community where the mitzvah of hashovas aveidah is a given, where it’s instilled in us from a young age, such events aren’t remarkable,” Mr. Eichenstein told Hamodia. The video was taken on the street, not in a formal presentation, and was not known until a ‘tip’ was given to JTA News.

Amid a week of hate-driven brutality, stories like this show how people can get along despite being from very different backgrounds. “Everyday we hear of antisemitic or racially motivated hate crime, this past Shabbos in Buffalo is a prime example,” Mr Eichenstein said.  “If we can show the world these special moments, to see who we are as a people…even if only one person walks away from this and looks differently upon us, it was all worth it”.

The story has attracted attention outside of the Jewish community. “I’ve had some of my colleagues in Albany who saw the story and really appreciated it,” Mr. Eichenstein said. “They said ‘what a nice gesture, how beautiful.'”

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