By Stacey Dresner
WORCESTER – The Krock family in Worcester has long been a force in the local real estate and banking industries.
They also have a long history with Chabad.
“The Krock family goes back a long way with us,” says Rabbi Mendel Fogelman, director of Central Massachusetts Chabad in Worcester.
“As a matter of fact Barry Krock’s father, Aaron Krock, was a supporter and was honored at a dinner for the Yeshiva in 1957,” Rabbi Fogelman told the Jewish Ledger.
Rabbi Fogelman also spoke of Barry’s grandfather, Menachem Mendel Krock – who in in 1929 when the previous Rebbe visited Massachusetts, stopping at Worcester’s Union Station, brought Aaron and his brother Eddie to meet the Rebbe.
“They were given a blessing at the train station,” Rabbi Fogelman said. “I would say we have come full circle in that blessing.”
The blessing Rabbi Fogelman refers to is the donation of a $1.5 million mansion from businessman Barry Krock and his wife, Janet, to Central Massachusetts Chabad.
Chabad will use the building, at 300 Salisbury St. — to be called the Krock Family Chabad Center for Jewish Life — for a variety of things. The building will house offices for Chabad on Campus, currently located at their Midland Street home, and which runs Jewish programming for Jewish students at Clark University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Plans are for the house to eventually be fitted with a gourmet kosher kitchen, so the facility can be used to host corporate events as well as private events, such as bar mitzvahs, showers, as well as to host authors, scholars, artists and musicians.
The donation will help the local Jewish community “to further develop and flourish,” Rabbi Fogelman said. “A gift of this magnitude can open unexplored frontiers of Jewish creativity. It is a tangible show of support from the Krock family, and a compliment to the many years of outreach performed by Chabad.”
The 6,872-square-foot home, built in 1979 on eight acres at the end of a long, gated driveway, has four bedrooms, five bathrooms and two half-bathrooms, according to assessor records at City Hall. The property has a porch, patio, indoor heated pool and four-bay garage. The Krocks officially deeded over the property to Chabad on Campus Worcester Inc., for consideration of less than $100 on Dec. 23, according to the Worcester Registry of Deeds. The assessed value is close to $1.5 million.
“I am a believer in genuine Jewish continuity, and greatly respected the late Rabbi Hershel Fogelman, his work, and accomplishments for much of my life,” said Barry Krock in a news release announcing the donation. “In recent years, I have grown to admire the success of his son, Rabbi Mendel Fogelman, who continues to lead with great commitment and dedication. We make this gift to Chabad with full confidence that it will generate renewed positive energy in the Jewish community of Worcester and beyond.”
CAP: Rabbi Mendel fogelman, left, and Barry Krock in front of the $1.5 million home.