The Jewish community of Central Queens is reeling from the shock of the untimely passing of a well-known community personality, Mr. Marc Hoschander, Reb Melech ben Ephraim z”l. The warmth he radiated, along with his energy, enthusiasm, and zest for life, will be sorely missed. Marc was a compassionate, pleasant gentleman who ran to do a mitzvah and display his love for Hashem and His creations.
Marc, 54, was a longtime, dedicated member of many of Queens’ most popular organizations. He left his mark in a cheerful manner that brought comfort to all he encountered. As the proprietor of the popular On-The-Marc Dry Cleaners, Marc passed on positivity and his radiant smile to both his steady stream of customers and the many passersby headed into Seasons Supermarket and the nearby shops and eateries. Marc was privileged to serve many of our community rabbanim and leaders, always exhibiting the upmost respect and admiration. The same deference was shown to anyone who entered his establishment, as Marc and his dedicated team went above and beyond to serve his clientele, often spending considerable time talking to those who needed a listening ear.
Arthur Toporovsky, a dedicated employee, told the Queens Jewish Link: “What struck me most about Marc was seeing how devoted he was to his family. He spoke with each of his children and his wife several times daily and made time to learn with his son Eli.” Regarding the work environment, Arthur relayed, “Marc was also an incredibly tolerant employer. I started out working with him when my mother was in hospital, and no matter what was going on business-wise, he made it possible for me to spend whatever time I needed at her side. He picked up all my workload without comment, and never failed to ask about her. He was a good friend.”
A graduate of the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County (HANC), Neveh Zion in Eretz Yisrael, and Queens College, Marc fostered many of these connections into lifelong friendships.
Kew Gardens Hills and its everchanging plethora of shopping experiences and demographics enticed Marc’s imagination. He took a close interest in community happenings and changes, and happily shared the wonderful attributes of his neighborhood with friends and family. It is only fitting that he merited to have his own store become part of this conversation. Prior to launching his enterprise, Marc excelled in the mortgage field for over a decade as a sales manager. In the aftermath of the Subprime Mortgage Crisis, Marc emerged as a leader in the dry-cleaning field, filling a niche need with a pickup and drop-off service, at no additional charge, offered throughout Queens and, soon after, the Five Towns and Far Rockaway. The famed $10-off coupon widely circulated in this very publication became a staple in many homes. Marc, with his infectious smile emblazoned on his delivery van, became a neighborhood fixture. As the retail operation flourished, Marc desired to bring his customer base affordable opportunities, especially around the yamim tovim. To this end, Marc arranged for low-cost suit and shirt sales in an effort to bring simchas Shabbos v’yom tov to all.
Celebrating simchos, Shabbos, and Yom Tov were paramount for Marc, who enjoyed everything from the minute preparations to the uplifting t’filos and the accompanying festive meals shared with family and friends. Marc was the person who would bring home guests from shul to his family’s Shabbos table. Marc would rarely miss a simchah and would often document these events with photos and good wishes, treating each momentous occasion as if it was one from his own family. The Hoschanders spent the final days of the recent chagim with Annie’s family, giving Marc a chance to say farewell to some of his closest relatives in a befitting manner.
The beauty of Israel was never lost on Marc, who would follow its current events with great interest. As a family, the Hoschanders visited Eretz Yisrael to experience its beauty firsthand and bring life to emotions Marc shared for the land.
Born May 23, 1967, Marc was raised by his esteemed parents Dr. Fred z”l and Aviva Hoschander, longtime members of the Young Israel of Jamaica Estates. His father was a well-known dentist who operated a Massapequa-based private practice. For the past 28 years, Marc, together with his eishes chayil, Annie, were involved in many communal acts of chasadim that set a shining example for their children Esti (Emily), Eli, and Donny. Esti recently graduated FIT, while Eli is a budding talmid chacham in Baltimore, and Donny continues in his second year of yeshivah in Eretz Yisrael. Marc made it a point to always highlight his family’s accomplishments, and he showed his pride by sharing these feats with those he encountered each day.
“Marc was a beloved lion of our community,” related Rabbi Elimelech Gottlieb, a longtime chavrusa of Marc’s and a neighbor of the Hoschanders. “You are to me like a brother, my best friend, and my chavrusa.” In explaining Marc’s aura, Rabbi Gottlieb noted, “Nobody ever heard a word of lashon ha’ra or a bad word about another human being come out of Marc Hoschander’s mouth.”
Rav David Z. Sheinfeld, mara d’asra of Khal Degel Israel, shares a bond with the Hoschanders stretching many years. Marc originally attended a shiur in the shul as a bachur and, years later, regularly attended the Sunday morning classes where he was always inquisitive, wanting to understand the practical implications of halachos. The rav related in the name of a great Rebbe, “If you have emunah, there are no questions; if you don’t have emunah, there are no answers.”
Yitzy Jacobowitz, a nephew of Marc’s, explained, “There was a reason Marc’s name was Melech. It was because he was a king. Not a king in the sense of being a ruler, but rather in the sense of leading by example with love, warmth, and encouragement. Uncle Marc was the lightest part of even the darkest of rooms. He exemplified warmth and love.” Yitzy added, “His reputation always preceded him. The number of people that would sing his praises was amazing."
Marc’s sister Ilana Goldberg said, “There is nobody I knew with a bigger heart and a brighter smile than my brother Marc,” adding, “He had unconditional love, an upbeat disposition, and an unparalleled zest for life.” Ilana spoke of Marc being an eternal optimist who cared deeply for his friends and valued his commitment to a daily seder of learning with his son Eli above all else.
T’filah took on a significant role in Marc’s life. From its joyous tunes to making sure he did not miss a minyan, waking to be at the local 6 a.m. Shacharis, Marc felt at home when immersed in deep prayer to Hashem, especially when he took the amud. Marc found peace in practicing each and every mitzvah, often serving as a role model for others and honoring the yahrzeits of his ancestors with a fervor. Rav Sheinfeld stated that, in his final months, Marc exhibited pride in wearing a white shirt for Rosh Chodesh and attending minyanim with a jacket and hat. The rav also said, “He had a special, positive comment to always share and was proud to do favors for others,” adding, “He knew that Hashem always helps.”
Marc shared a special appreciation for fine wines, especially those from Eretz Yisrael. Together with his family, he enjoyed visiting the vast array of Kosher restaurants available in the tri-state area and often shared his positive reviews for others to enjoy.
Marc succumbed to the effects of a heart attack near his store on Erev Shabbos, October 1. Many community rabbanim and leaders attended the l’vayah and its accompanying livestream, including Rabbi Chaim Poupko of Congregation Ahavath Torah of Englewood, Rabbi Moshe Turk of the Jewish Heritage Center, and Rabbi Joshua Goller of the Young Israel of West Hempstead. The venue was filled to capacity with many lining the walls, while another 300 acquaintances joined online.
Marc is survived by his mother Aviva and her husband Vernon, his wife Annie and their three children, his sisters Mrs. Sheryl Jacobowitz and Mrs. Ilana Goldberg, their spouses and families, and his many friends and customers whom he greatly impacted.
Marc and his infectious smile left an indelible mark on all whom he encountered. A supporter of community causes, and a lover of the neighborhood of Kew Gardens Hills, Marc found ways to bring simchah to all. May his family take comfort in his accomplishments.
By Shabsie Saphirstein