Remembering Josh Rubin: Memorial service tomorrow for murdered cafe owner

The Brooklyn Paper
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Ditmas Park residents will come together on Sunday to remember — and grieve for — Josh Rubin, the neighborhood cafe owner who disappeared on Halloween, only to be found murdered in Pennsylvania.

Temple Beth Emeth of Flatbush on Marlborough Road offered to host Sunday’s service after Jan Rosenberg — the real estate agent who brokered the deal for Rubin’s business, Whisk — spoke to congregants about holding some kind of remembrance for the beloved cafe owner.

“He had a lot of friends in the neighborhood and it’s good for us to honor that,” said Rabbi Heidi Hoover, who will lead the service — Brooklyn’s first chance to publicly mourn Rubin’s death. “We want to give his friends a chance to say goodbye to him here.”

Rubin was laid to rest last week in Rhode Island, his home state, after he was identified as the man who was shot, set on fire, and dumped on a desolate Pennsylvania road less than 12 hours after he left his home on Lawrence Avenue.

Since his disappearance, news surfaced that Rubin had money problems and, possibly, selling drugs.

Yet Hoover, who has been soliciting remembrances from family and friends for the past week, says she’s been introduced to a very different Josh Rubin — one who was both passionate and driven to succeed.

“What has stood out to me is the expansiveness of his personality, he was very memorable to all who met him,” said Hoover, who said the service will remember who Rubin was — not how he died. “A memorial service is less about trying to piece together what happened than it is trying to remember the person he was.”

Memorial service for Josh Rubin at Temple Beth Emeth of Flatbush [83 Marlborough Rd. between Church Avenue and Albemarle Road in Ditmas Park, (718) 282-1596] on Jan. 8 at 4 pm. Send remembrances to

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow his Tweets at @from_where_isit.

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Reader Feedback

JF from 570 says:
RIP, Josh. Your spirit shone brightly for too short a time.
Jan. 7, 2012, 1:46 am
Jeanne from Rhode Island says:
I can't believe how low some people can stoop with this kind of disrespect. It is really disgusting.
Jan. 8, 2012, 7:17 pm
prillis says:
white drug dealer dies = multiple news articles. black drug dealer dies = nada.
Jan. 9, 2012, 11:28 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Prillis, I feel you on that, but I don't think that's exactly what happened here. Rubin entered into Brooklyn media consciousness because he was missing, he was young, and he was a young entrepeneur, and, since this is Brooklyn Paper and also Gothamist reported on it, because he was a young agent of gentrification.

The fact of his drug dealing was either concealed from media by his friends and confidantes, or media overlooked or neglected to mention it. If these circumstances were to light from the onset, it's unlikely reporting would have been as extensive or as positive [then again, your observation still has merit even in that regard].

Don't get me wrong--I'm not trying to deny your observation of unfairness in media, especially Brooklyn media. You're right, the death of a black dealer would likely be cheered to high heaven whereas there is pause here for this young man. Hopefully, but unlikely, Brooklyn Paper will take a cue.

Nevertheless, no one deserved to die in the manner that Mr. Rubin did. No one. For that, he deserves sympathy and our wises he rest in peace.
Jan. 9, 2012, 11:56 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Jan. 9, 2012, 11:57 am
prillis says:
Dennis: all true. no disrespect to rubin friends/fam.
Jan. 9, 2012, 12:29 pm
jinx from bk says:
he should of been strapped, always - remember that kids
Jan. 9, 2012, 3:22 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
No, he shouldn't have. That's the wrong message to be sending to all the youth who are getting into drugs and are also selling--you really want all them kids to look at this as a caution for them to get guns?
Jan. 9, 2012, 4:02 pm

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