Friday, December 25, 2009

Bayside's Jewish Santa Claus

From the Daily News:

Some people have hobbies. Personal injury lawyer Dana Friedman has a seasonal alter ego.

Every year, the Bayside father begins growing out his beard in July. Two months later, he stops watching his calories. By October, he's watching the film "Miracle on 34th Street" in preparation of his transformation into jolly old St. Nick.

"It's the most ridiculous job that anyone could ever think of, but it's got to be the most fun," Friedman, 50, said of his ninth season as Santa.

"There's nothing more rewarding than seeing a child's face light up."

Friedman, who is Jewish, was inspired to become Father Christmas after the World Trade Center was reduced to a smoldering rubble a block away from his office.

Suddenly, his firm Kleinberg & Friedman was being asked to donate money to a variety of new charities that had sprung up seemingly overnight, he said.

Wary of where the money was going, his office created Laws for the Claus instead. The program provides charities with toys and Santa visits. He also does additional appearances on the side when the Santa season kicks off after Thanksgiving.


Anonymous said...

An amazing story of dedication to do good for those unfortunate and the families of 911 victims. Unfortunately as Mr Freidman knows and responded to in his own charitable way, is that folks do want to give but do not trust the charities that spring up to address the needs of donor properly.

Merry Christmas and thank you Mr Friedman!

Anonymous said...

only in queens