Rosenbaum Family Denounces ‘Festival’ to Mark Riots

As we approach the 25th Yahrtzeit of Yankel Rosenbaum, HYD, who was murdered in cold blood on account of being a Jew during the infamous Crown Heights riots in the summer of 1991, the Rosenbaum family has reacted with shock and indignation that the anniversary of the riots will be marked with a ‘neighborhood festival.’

Professor Norman Rosenbaum, Yankel’s brother, wrote to

“The decision to hold a “Community Festival” to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Crown Heights Riots is shameful and a disgrace. It is an insult to the memory of Yankel Rosenbaum who was murdered in the early hours of the Riots for being a Jew.  The late Mayor Koch first called the Riots for what they truly were – a Pogrom!  And it should never be forgotten, that Pogrom was not a Community Festival!

‘It is truly an indictment that on the day 25 years ago Yankel was attacked amidst the violent cries of the anti-semetic rioters to “Kill the Jew! Kill the Jew”, that the tragic loss of his life and the circumstances of his murder are today not worth more than games, music, festival rides, arts & crafts, live entertainment and non-kosher food!”

Speaking on behalf of the Rosenbaum family, Isaac Abraham said:

“The Rosenbaum family is outraged by the insensitivity of the organizers of this “Community Festival” who by doing so have trivialized the callous murder of Yankel and desecrated his memory.”

Crown Heights Community activist Yaacov Behrman said:

“Since the Crown Heights riots there has been tremendous progress in forging constructive relationships and deescalating tensions between Orthodox Jewish and black residents of the neighborhood, however, holding a neighborhood fun day to commemorate the riots is inexcusable and shamefully low.

“The event should commensurate with the gravity of the incidents.  A community wide fast day is a more appropriate way to commemorate the only pogrom in US history.”


    • 2. Wrong wrote:

      It’s the moronic “Community Leaders”. They should be ashamed but as long as they get photo ops – CH.Info, PLEASE don’t feed their egos, don’t report anything about this “festival”. What are we celebrating? A Jew was murdered, let’s party? DISGUSTING & DISRESPECTFUL!

  • 5. Jews should not attend! wrote:

    Call it a boycott, or call it whatever you want, but absolutely under no circumstances should Yidden attend this event, especially now that we have heard from the Rosenbaum family.

    Someone in the frum infrastructure of Crown Heights must have been involved in the planning of this “festivity”! Who, I pray, was it, and how could this person possibly have cooperated with such an “effort”????

  • 6. protest wrote:

    a protest is in order!! this is in real bad taste! imagine a festival with the Germans to celebrate advancements since the holocaust! this was a holocaust to the Immediate Rosenbaum family and to some others who were hurt in or beaten… Apparently it’s meaningless to most others……

  • 8. Shmuel wrote:

    Kol Hakavod to R’ Yankel Behrman for standing up what’s right.

    To Norman and the Rosenblum’s: May Hashem give you guys koach, and the ultimate Nechemo. Thank you for teaching us to how to stand up.

  • 9. some are Brainless in CH wrote:

    get off the weed

    what progress?

    Duo Armed with Knife Commits Three Robberies

  • 10. garfinkel wrote:

    Rabbi Berman,
    The correct usage for future reference: …should be commensurate….

  • 11. The is a boss wrote:

    Please remind us when the elections for community counsel are again?!

  • 13. agree wrote:

    A despicable idea that no one should attend- Jew or non Jew. Celebrating violence.

  • 14. CR wrote:

    How appropriate that this article is juxtaposed to the picture of two gangsta thugs menacingly brandishing a knife while they terrorize the neighborhood. The generations come and go and the hoodlums and goons stay exactly the same.

  • 15. Thank you Mr. Rosenbaum wrote:

    If not for you, Mr. Norman Rosenbaum, our lovely community council would have gone along with this festival. All that they care for is, for a couple of Photo ups that would’ve been taken with a couple of ‘important’ people!

    Thank you Mr. Rosenbaum! May Hashem avenge his cold blooded murder! הי”ד!!!!

  • 16. Couldn't agree more wrote:

    There are many appropriate things that could be done – a community get together, with representatives from all sectors of CH speaking; creating a Yankel Rosenbaum Scholarship Fund to help Yeshiva Tuition; a “haskara”. This is a disgrace but shows how self-absorbed and insensitive the CHJCC is. I hope everyone boycotts it, but knowing the herd mentality of Jewish CH I think that is unlikely. Let the Blacks have a good time, they caused it.

  • 17. Uncle Mendel wrote:

    Where is our poor excuse for a Mayor at this time? And our rancid excuse for a president?

  • 18. SD wrote:

    Unfortunately this is not due to actions by some liberal Jews, but promoted and supported by some of our own leaders and activists. It is a shame to see how low some will stoop so as to promote thier own personal agendas. Even the Federation came out with a statement lately saying that they regret not helping the beleagured Jews of Crown Heights in the aftermath of the riots, but were only willing to be supportive to help improve Jewish-Black relations at that time. Perhaps these same activists are also supportive of the ” Black Lives Matter ” movement.

  • 19. Respect wrote:

    He’s right there was never a issue of Jews againts black peole it was a accident Yankel was killed in a riot not a accident for them to make it as if we need more peace and understanding amongst Jews is shameful I hope every Jewish org back out from this

  • 20. how do you equate a pogrom with an accident wrote:

    there is a huge disconnect between leaders and sane people
    yankel was stabbed to death and our leaders want to make a party for people
    a disgrace

  • 22. Will there be a festival commemorating the murder of Ari? wrote:

    Maybe One Crown Heights could have a festival with Halal food, rides and fun together with Muslims commemorating the murder of Ari Halberstam? Nope I bet THAT would never happen! Where are the organizers heads!?

    So terrible to cause so much pain to the Rosenbaum family. I’m sorry you’re going through this Rosenbaums.

    • 23. Inappropriate wrote:

      This comment aboug Ari Halberstam (A”H) is very inappropriate. B”H there’s still time before Yom Kippur for whoever wrote it.

  • 24. What WERE our frum leaders thinking . . . wrote:

    . . .when they became collaborators with this shonda????

  • 25. Moshe Eliyahu wrote:

    This is very despicable, low, nasty, disgusting, rude, sick, repulsive. Bec its 25 years is not a reason to celebrate, like Norman Rosenbaum said, this was a very sad & depressing time for the Frum community, its not a time to celebrate, & I really hope none of the frum ppl in the community council or anyone that has anything to do with community things & events, planned this, No 1 from the Frum CH should take part in this, its a time 2 reflect, not party, Yankel lost his life to those Trash Garbage, that murdered him. They should cancel these plans right away, & also tell the black community, that they should also cancel, this is not a Happy time, Yakel is no longer with us, we have 2 remember him, & this is not a respectful way to do that. thank u

  • 28. deescalating tensions between Orthodox Jewish and black residents of the neighborhood wrote:

    Huh? How many Orthodox Jews have attacked black residents in the neighborhood over the past 25 or 50 years?
    Maybe you should have said “deescalating terror towards Orthodox Jewish perpetrated by a small minority of criminals who just happen to be black”. Because most of my non-Jewish neighbors are a decent, hard working individuals who are also disgusted by the criminals who roam the streets.

    And how come it’s religion for the Jews and skin color for the blacks? You can’t have 1 cohesive community when you are so blinded by color and religion.

    • 29. Pedant wrote:

      You aren’t completely incorrect. The problem is the concurrent selective rejection and embrace of ‘black’ identity by people with black ‘skin color.’

      When it’s inconvenient, people are people and color is skin deep, but most of the time they self-identify as ‘black people.’

      Ideally, the would embrace the King vision of content of the character and indeed that’s the truth because there is no halachic significance to the color of a non-jew’s skin; they are but bnei Noach, the lot of them.

      According to you, there should be no ‘black’ pride and I agree with you, but black people do not, and not everyone is willing to pretend that that doesn’t matter.

      They and they are alone are responsible for the perpetuation of a people-hood based on skin color.

      Again, we would love for them to be just people like everyone else, with skin color entirely incidental, but that isn’t what they want or believe in the aggregate.

      Hope that helps.

  • 30. Still in Golus, therefore no "Festival" wrote:

    Since we are not yet in the geulah sheleimah, we as a people do not yet mark tragedies, violence, and terror against our people with a “Festival” celebration.

    We are still in golus, so, like Tisha B’Av, we do not mark the anniversary of our neighborhood’s horrible pogrom, and the slaying of Yankel Rosenbaum, HY”D, with “rides, entertainment, games, music,” etc.!

    Whose yahrzeit do we commemorate with a “festival”? Maybe Haman’s, but not the yahrzeit of one of our own!

    I am sure the politicians and organizations meant well, but in no way do the “memorial” moments of the program make up for the bizarre final plans that are way out of bounds: a “festival”?!

    Yidden, do not attend. Even better, CHJCC and Jewish Children’s Museum, and any other frum groups on the list for this crazy event: please cancel your participation. Better to reconsider and back out now, than to be a part of this “olam sheker” activity.

  • 31. resident wrote:

    maybe we should have a party, festival with the arabs on the day ari halberstam was killed and the killer sentenced to “death”. or maybe the day pessy lapine was killed. yes, lets have a party with song and dance and food and rides and music.
    how low can crown heights fall?
    please boycott this. let them party. we do not celebrate murder of our own!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    let them remember the child killed in an accident the way they feel death should be celebrated. not us.

  • 32. how do you equate a pogrom with an accident wrote:

    it is time for our leaders to resign as many are self appointed dh cs and not elected
    they d not have the right to gloss over the pogrom and the murder of yankel rosenbaum

  • 34. Call it a pogrom not racial riots wrote:

    My wife and family went to the park yesterday with no idea if the festival. Even the few Jews that were there did not give hechsher to this pc dreck. Exactly what would the Jewish organizers do, promote more obstacles for our kids to overcome with a social gathering of teruvos like basil restaurant? Feh!!! You fall right into the trap of the media and government revisionist history


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