New York City Medical Examiner’s Office Shows Special Sensitivity to Kletzky Family


search-for-leiby-kletzky1This afternoon, the news broke that the Medical Examiner’s Office had announced the official cause of death of Leiby Kletzky a”h. What didn’t make the news, however, was the extreme sensitivity that New York City Medical Examiner’s Office displayed toward the Kletzky family and, in fact, continues to display toward the entire community.

Acting Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Stephen James DeRoux was scheduled to release the cause of death, but he first wanted to disclose the sensitive information to the family, due to concern for their wellbeing during this difficult period. The Medical Examiner’s Office attempted to contact the family several times, but there was no response. Dr. DeRoux was under immense pressure to make the announcement because law enforcement personnel were awaiting his report. Dr. DeRoux therefore reached out to his contacts at Misaskim and asked for assistance in locating the Kletzky family. Misaskim representatives contacted members of the Kletzky family and transmitted the information they had received from Dr. DeRoux. Only after Dr. DeRoux received confirmation that the family had been notified, did he proceed to announce the cause of death to law enforcement and to the public.

Special sensitivity toward the family was also shown last Wednesday when the gruesome crime came to light. The Medical Examiner’s office opened up early that day as an accommodation in case anything extra would be needed, and some staffers even offered to stay late so that there would be no delays.

These are not the only incidents this week that demonstrate the compassion that the Medical Examiner’s Office extends toward all New Yorkers, including the Jewish community. On Monday, a 21-year old girl from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania was niftar during a surgical procedure at a hospital in New York City. The family wanted to do their utmost to bring their beloved daughter to her eternal rest as soon as possible, as mandated by halachah.

The incident that led to the death of the nifteres legally requires the intervention of the Medical Examiners Office. The family contacted Misaskim for assistance after they were told that they would have to wait until the next morning since the Medical Examiner’s Office was already closed. When Misaskim called its contacts at the Medical Examiner’s Office, they graciously offered to open up their offices so that the body could be examined and released in a timely manner. The levayah was held on Tuesday afternoon in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and was a great comfort to the family.

The frum community is deeply grateful for the ongoing understanding that the Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Charles Hirsch, and the entire Medical Examiner’s Office consistently demonstrate. Dr. Hirsch’s compassionate and stellar leadership makes the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office a model for coroners across the nation. The Medical Examiner’s Office is always eager to do all that it can to accommodate families who have suffered a loss. Misaskim’s positive relationship with the New York City’s Medical Examiner’s Office enables them to continue to stand at the forefront of community service-something which is much appreciated by all.

{Noam Newscenter}


  1. I wana say thanks … To the medical examiner office and that’s very kind of them ….. They are showing extreme sensitivity . The entire jewish community is thankful !!!!!!

  2. Thank you for letting us know, and thank you to Misaskim and the entire Medical Examiner’s office. We should no longer need their services, but it’s comforting to know that the people behind the scenes are sensitive to both religous concerns and human emotions.

  3. Matzav, please encourage readers to email their appreciation.
    When we show gratitude as a community, not only does it bring about a great Kiddush Hashem, it also inspires agencies like the MEO to continue their good work.

  4. I just sent them a email thanking them thank you for the email address may we only send email to happier departments to thank them

  5. In these difficult times, we should be grateful to HKB”H for the medinah shel chesed that we find ourselves in. It certainly isn’t perfect (especially in light of the recent legislation passed in Albany, for example), but think of it in the context of Jewish history – we could do a lot worse.

  6. The following is what I wrote to the Medical Examiner’s office:

    To whom it may concern:

    I would like to convey my deepest gratitude to your office.

    As all parents, I was horrified to learn Leiby Kletzky’s fate last week Wednesday. The horrific details didn’t make it any better, as I tried to grapple with the shocking, devastating news. Death, in general, is associated with darkness; thus, it was tough to sustain after this shocking episode, and I was wondering from where I can draw my inspiration.

    Yet, from within the darkness came the light. As we were readying to attend the funeral of little Leiby, we breathed with relief. We knew that Leiby was in good hands. The lightness became even brighter when we heard about the sensitivity your office displayed toward our community. On the day we learned how evil mankind can be, we saw kindness in you.

    S. Gold