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Jewish Woman Plunges to Her Death in New York, Was Chabad Honoree

October 5, 2012 12:45 pm 16 comments

Stephanie Becker at the 2012 JHP New York Gala. Photo: Facebook.

An Ivy League educated 28 year old Jewish woman plunged to her death on Thursday in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.

Stephanie Becker, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and was a Co-Chair of the Chabad affiliated Steinhardt Jewish Heritage Programs New York Gala this year, fell from the 30th floor and left no note behind according to authorities.

“Becker jumped from the roof” Police said, according to the New York Post. “She fell 30 stories to a parapet, just outside the building’s fifth-floor gym.”

“She went to Jewish school and came to Chabad all the time.
She was honored at Lubavitch House at Penn as an alumnus as well, and was a very sweet, happy person,” a friend at UPenn told The Algemeiner.

Originally from Stamford, Connecticut, Becker was a consultant at IBM while committing her time outside of work to Jewish causes.

“She went with us on Birthright, she was a wonderful, happy, beloved friend to many, she was a social linchpin, somebody that everybody knew and related to, she was the best,” Rabbi Menachem Schmidt, Executive Director of Lubavitch House at Penn and President of Chabad on Campus said in an interview with The Algemeiner.  “I saw her last week because she used to meet with students for our mentoring event in Manhattan. She always came to Shabbos dinners.”

“It is really, really hard to understand this,” said the Rabbi, who had known her for 10 years, “I feel sick, we all cared for her very much and I want people to remember her positively.”

The building at 55 W 26th Street. Photo: Streeteasy.

“It is a terrible tragedy,” he added, “she was the kind of person that everyone would want to be like.” “We miss her very much and our hearts go out to the family,” he concluded.

The Algemeiner obtained a portion of a speech Becker gave at a Steinhardt JHP Alumni Gala.

“During New Student Orientation, with the high holidays approaching, the rabbis were there to make sure we knew that the Jewish holidays were a time to celebrate (and they knew how to celebrate a good time, too),” she said.  “At the time, I could barely comprehend the impact that these rabbis and this organization would have on my life, but I could taste the passionate spirit and moral fiber behind the wild Jewish dancing and knew this was something in which I had to get involved.”

The incident on Thursday occurred at 55 West 26th Street at around 8:15 a.m.

“At work, Becker was an expert in advertising on video games, and co-authored a 2008 article on the subject in AdWeek,” the New York Post reported.  A report in the New York Daily News cited a LinkedIn recommendation for Becker, where a former supervisor described her as “an articulate, intelligent, optimistic and dedicated consultant.”

UPDATE/CORRECTION: An earlier version of this report failed to include a claim from the New York Post and the New York Daily News that according to police, Stephanie Becker jumped to her death. No information was released as collaborative evidence of this report. The New York Police Department has yet to respond to The Algemeiner’s request for clarification on the incident.


  • Does anyone have any statistics or research on suicide in Jewish women?

  • my daughter knows her brother. the sadness is unfathomable. i only hope one day the family can deal with the loss. this is something that time will never heal.

  • this was such tragic news…a seemingly beautiful, intelligent and promising young jewish life extinguished…’why’ is always the question, but, few answers really exist…as a funeral director, seeing young lives end is never reconcilable…one can only hope she has a place in heaven.

  • This is partially untrue . I live in the building that she jumped off on and you can’t open the windows far enough to get out them. She went up to the roof and climbed over to the electrical side of the building and jumped from there apparently.

    • PARTIALLY untrue? Which part is true, which is not? APPARENTLY? Based on what appearance?
      ELECTRICAL side? Her side wasn’t wired for electricity?
      You saw her walk to the roof by herself, Katie?

  • Maybe she wanted somebody, who was in the gym, at that time of the morning, to witness this terrible event. I wonder who she was dating. Anger and pain can lead a normally stable person to do unthinkable things.

  • I mourn her loss even tho I did not know her. I witnessed her tragedy. There was no scream n cops were in the scene immediately indicating someone may have seen her by the window just before. Then again there is a pct two blocks away. Such a tragedy whether intentional or accidental. The world just got a bit dimmer but heaven now has a bright angel.

  • Lawrence kulak

    Looking at the broad smiling face of this tragic young woman I can emphatically state that it does not seem likey that she would jump to her death. Did anybody see her jump or hear her scream before she jumped? It could be that because there are no other preliminary clues that they are forced to classify it as a suicide until anything to the contrary surfaces. She may have been trying to escape a rape attempt. Was all the video surveillance examined about everyone that had entered the building and not left during the hours preceding this tragedy, and the criminal records of everyone that was in the building including residents? We are entitled to know the reasons why there is no suspicion of foul play.

  • I hope you will continue to follow up on this. A suicide? From someone who showed no signs of depression, had an active social life, had lots of friends, was moving up the corporate latter, motivated to help others? NO suicide note or ideation? Very doubtful–then the NY Post has a talkback by a witness who saw her fall and heard her screaming as she went by the window….sorry, but this sounds more like she was pushed than jumped.

  • A woman like this….I doubt that she jumped. A horrible tragedy.

  • I am so sorry for Stephanie and her family. It is written: I will comfort those who mourn. I am praying for all who knew Stephanie.

  • My deepest sympathy to her family and to all people closed to her…:(((

  • Modern-day New Yorkers have a helluva time understanding most things they haven’t been programmed to understand. How is a politically-correct Jew supposed to understand anything, when he cannot see anything when his head is firmly planted in his rectum, down to his neck?

    Her jump is reminiscent of the guy who commits suicide by stabbing himself in the back, five times!

    Will diaspora Jewish reporters ever learn to walk on their hind legs?

  • it is with great sadness that I must read this news of Stephanie Beckers loss so tragically and without explanation for the moment. Clearly cover the exclamation is to me that people are not acknowledged or permitted to perform other than expected ways and vocabulary. I suspect that Miss Becker sought not to embarrass or vilify or blame. rather she felt oppressed and could not be what she would choose to be a likely very different from what she appears to be to others.
    no my words may not be accurate I would advise that we all be opened to other people’s changes and desires to change. that people be free and safe in their desires which might be construed as disappointing others.

    what s look for ways to allow people not to be boxed ed but rather to be able to express himself freely as they make question or is they may seek question to question.

    the Toby center for family transitions is a model based in Florida inDesign to allow people to I just to family and personal change though initially based on marital relationship change of parents. our motto is acknowledgement come out recognition, and support. we must allow people to acknowledge what their feelings at the moment.
    we must recognize that these are moments of change and that change and adaptation might be a short or long process. but change and adaptation will best happen when 1 is supported through resources, tools, and patience.

  • A life that ended too soon Z”L

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