Stephanie Becker, a young Jewish woman and Ivy League-educated consultant living in Manhattan, fell to her death from a NYC luxury apartment building on Thursday. It is unknown whether 28-year-old Becker's death was the result of an accidental freak fall, or a successful suicide attempt. Becker was a consultant at IBM and committed a lot of her time outside of work to her involvement in the Jewish community.
Becker (originally from Stamford, Connecticut) was a graduate from the University of Pennsylvania and was a co-chair of the Chabad affiliated Steinhardt Jewish Heritage Programs New York Gala for 2012. According to authorities, she fell 30-stories from a Chelsea hotel and landed on a parapet just outside the building's fifth-floor gym. No signs of a suicide note were left behind at the scene. The incident occurred at 55 West 26th Street at around 8:15 a.m. on Thursday.
Rabbi Menachem Schmidt told The Algemeiner, "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. I saw her last week because she used to meet with students for our mentoring event in Manhattan. She always came to Shabbos dinners." The Rabbi, who had known Becker for 10 years, continues with, "It is really, really hard to understand this. I feel sick, we all cared for her very much and I want people to remember her positively. It is a terrible tragedy, 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."
According to a report by the New York Post, Becker was hired by IBM right after graduating in 2006. She worked as an expert in advertising on video games for the company and earned her MBA while working there (at NYU's Stern School of Business).
Becker was believed to be an outgoing, popular young woman (having over 1,500 friends on Facebook), which helps to quiet rumors that her death was a suicide. Many people close to Becker were shocked to hear of her sudden death. Her unfortunate passing comes during the time of the Jewish holiday Sukkot, Feast of the Tabernacles.
Thoughts and condolensces go out to Becker's family and friends on her tragic passing.