Hasidic teacher brutalized in possible hate crime

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Three thugs brutally assaulted a Jewish school teacher in South Williamsburg last Thursday evening, taunting him with an anti-Semitic slur, a source said.

Joel Weinberger, 26, was knocked unconscious with a broken jaw in a horrific encounter as he was walking home on Harrison Avenue at Wallabout Street at 7:20 pm from the Be’er Torah Yeshiva, cops said.

During the beating, at least one of the three suspects said, “We hate you” or, possibly, “We hate Jews” — prompting the NYPD to investigate the case as a hate crime.

The suspects tore up his clothing and punched him in the face, but did not take his wallet even though he offered it to them — another sign that this crime was a bias incident rather than a mugging, a source close to the family said.

The thieves did take the teacher’s cellphone, but also left his religious garments in tatters.

“His religious hat was removed, his jacket was removed and his fringes were ripped,” said Isaac Abraham, a Hasidic community leader. “This guy was really beaten, he was punched by someone with rings on his hands who smashed his facial bones.”

Abraham and his former rival, Councilman Steve Levin, were first to call the incident a hate crime.

“Mr. Weinberger is an important member of the Williamsburg community, and it is my hope that his attackers are brought to justice quickly,” Levin said.

On Monday afternoon, leaders of United Jewish Community Advocacy Relations and Enrichment, a Hasidic social services organization, offered $5,000 for any information regarding the identity or whereabouts of the suspects.

Weinberger was treated at New York Downtown Hospital where he received extensive reconstructive surgery for his face before returning home yesterday.

“Most of the injuries of his face were internal so doctors inserted a metal plate into his cheek bone and wired it in place,” said Sara Stern, a patient advocate with Williamsburg Outreach who visited Weinberger last week. “He looked all swollen up, his eyes were shut, and he was in and out of consciousn­ess.”

This was not the Hasidic community’s first brush with violence this year — but it may be its first hate crime.

A 25-year-old rabbi’s son was shot outside a corner store on Driggs Avenue and S. Eighth Street on Aug. 11 in an attempted robbery, which prompted the United Jewish Organizations to offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

The victim’s family declined to characterize the shooting as a hate crime and police did not classify it as such when they arrested one suspect two weeks later.

But community members remain alarmed at two incidents of anti-Semitic vandalism where police found numerous swastikas written inside a Harrison Avenue building and a Penn Street building earlier this month, according to Yeshiva World News.

“The last couple of weeks we’ve had some near misses,” said Gary Schlesinger, executive board chairman of UJCare, who believes there has been a rise of gang activity in the area. “People out there are afraid to go out at night which is terrible.”

Updated 5:22 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Moshe Dovid from Williamsburg says:
I applaud the leaders of UJCare who did the right thing by offering $5,000 as a reward for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators, These UJCare leaders are truly out there to watch and preserve this fast growing community !!
Nov. 30, 2010, 3:40 pm
Saul P. from Greenpoint says:
I Think that Isaac Abraham should be replaced as councilman of the neighborhood instead of this young kid who is there now.
Nov. 30, 2010, 3:50 pm
joey from clinton hills says:
is every hasidic guy a "rabbi"?
Nov. 30, 2010, 6:43 pm
Mary from Bway Triangle says:
Unfortunately for you Saul, Isaac Abraham was not ELECTED councilman.
Nov. 30, 2010, 6:54 pm
Hank from marine Park says:
"Possible Hate Crime" Really ?
If a Gay Man was attacked in this Fashion the news coverage would be never-ending.
Nov. 30, 2010, 9:38 pm
Dovid from queens says:
Where is Rush Limbaugh? Where is Glenn Beck? They pretend to be pro-Jewish and pro-Israel and then they are nowhere when something like this happens.
Dec. 1, 2010, 9:02 am
Ron from Berkeley, CA. says:
When I lived in N.Y., the Satmar were pretty good at protecting their people. Has that changed?
March 17, 2011, 8:46 pm
Phil Mike Hunt from Thong says:
It is a bit nazi of jews.To offer a reward as it was a jew that got a beating.
June 1, 2011, 5 pm
manhatposeur from manhat says:
No one deserves this. As much as I ditest the Hassids from violating my rights and my girl's right to ride bikes, no one should get beaten for who they are.
Im betting it was bunch of teens from another "non-hipster marginalized working class group".
June 2, 2011, 1:51 pm

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: