Son Sues Mom For Witholding Thousands In Bar Mitzvah Money, Wins Case

| by Nathaly Pesantez

A Long Island, New York, man has won a court case against his mother over a $5,000 gift that was promised to him at his 2007 bar mitzvah. 

Jordan Zeidman, 20, said his maternal grandmother, Rachel Steinfeld, promised him a sum of money eight years ago while celebrating his coming-of-age party. 

"She was like, 'I have $5,000 for you. Just like I gave to your brother and sister,'" Jordan said in court, according to the New York Post. 

Rachel, who attended the party with her daughter and mother to Jordan, Shirley Zeidman, told him that his mother would hold on to the money for him.

Shirley, however, never gave him his grandmother's bar mitzvah gift. 

Bank statements and documents shown in court proved that Jordan was indeed gifted $5,000. A handwritten note presented as evidence reads, "I owe Jordan $190 + $5,000 from Baba." Baba is the family's nickname for Rachel. 

Shirley said she does not remember writing the statement, but admitted that it may have been her handwriting. 

Judge Scott Fairgrieve from the Nassau County District Court said Shirley was "in violation of her fiduciary duty" by withholding $5,000 meant for Jordan. 

Steve Cohn, Jordan's lawyer, told Yahoo Parenting that the $5,000 added to the 9 percent interest for the past eight years, plus lawyer fees, means Shirley will pay somewhere between $10,000 and $11,000. 

Cohn says the court case meant more to Jordan than being able to receive his $5,000 gift. 

"Because of a number of events, the children wound up being raised by their father," Cohn said. "The relationship between children and mother deteriorated — she was not invited to the bar mitzvah, but she came with her mother nevertheless."

He added: "I honestly don't think it was really about the money, only a byproduct of what he felt he needed to do for himself. I think for Jordan this verdict means a lot."

Shirley's lawyer, Jeffrey Schecter, said he will likely appeal his client's ruling over a lack of evidence. 

Sources: New York Post, Yahoo Parenting / Photo credit: Joe Gratz/Flickr