Israeli Girl Violated While Sleeping in 770

The NYPD’s Special Victims Unit is investigating a report that a young woman, who is visiting from Israel for the month of Tishrei, was assaulted while sleeping in the women’s section of 770. With the help of Shomrim, police have successfully apprehended the suspect, who has since been charged with the crime.

According to police sources, the incident happened inside the 784-788 portion of 770, which houses the women’s section of the main Shul. The victim, a young Israeli woman, was sleeping in the stairwell leading into the women’s section, when she suddenly awoke at around 4:00am and felt a man attempting to molest her.

The victim began screaming, causing the attack to stop and the perpetrator to flee.

Following a lengthy police investigation, a suspect, who works as a janitor in 770, was identified. Thanks to the instrumental assistance of Shomrim, police were able to apprehend the suspect and bring him in for a lineup.

This morning, police sources confirmed that the suspect, an Hispanic male who goes by the name Freddie, was picked out of a lineup by the victim. He was charged with a number of sexual offenses, including forcible touching and Indecent Assault.

Why Are Guests Sleeping in the Streets?

Recent ‘news reports’ that a philanthropist donated ‘millions of dollars’ to an organization which is supposedly dedicated to housing incoming guests for the month of Tishrei highlights this incident as especially troubling.

Why are women, many of whom have paid this organization ‘nominal fees’ to secure a place for them to sleep and eat for the month of Tishrei, seen roaming the streets at night with their luggage in tow in search of a place to lay their heads for the night? And why are they resorting to sleeping on Shul benches and tables?

Sources have confirmed with that the victim of this attack indeed paid this organization a fee, for which she was assured she would have a place to stay once arriving in New York. Instead, she spent three nights homeless, with no better place than a Shul bench to lie down and sleep.

The ‘Hachnosas Orchim’ organization in question released a statement following the incident, in which they admitted to a ‘lapse’ – in their words – and attempted to downplay the incident, saying they would take extra steps to make sure it did not happen again.

Visitors intent on spending the month of Tishrei in Crown Heights make admirable sacrifices in terms of comfort, but should not have to compromise on their safety. If they arrived with the promise of finding a place to stay, they deserve that safe place and not have to resort to benches in public places.

Vetting the 770 Workers

The incident also raises questions as to who is responsible for vetting, hiring and firing the janitors and handymen that work in 770. Are there background checks being conducted? Are references being checked?

We reached out to the Gaboim of 770 in an effort to have these questions addressed.

One Gabbai who answered his phone said “I heard rumors [of the incident] but no one came to ask me anything or said anything to me.” When asked who is responsible for the workers, he answered “I do not know, I am not involved” and refused to direct us to the right person.

Cell phone photo of three girls seen sleeping in the woman's section of 770. Photo taken on Sep. 29th.
Cell phone photo of three girls seen sleeping in the woman’s section of 770. Photo taken on Sep. 29th.
Cell phone photo shows girls seen walking on Kingston Avenue Sep. 30th at around 4:00am in search of a place to sleep.
Cell phone photo shows girls seen walking on Kingston Avenue Sep. 30th at around 4:00am in search of a place to sleep.
With the help of Shomrim, police apprehend the individual suspected of sexually assaulting the young woman in 770. He was spotted playing soccer in Lefferts Park on Oct. 7th by patrolling Shomrim volunteers.

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  • thank you shomrim

    thank you thank you

    again we have young people worried about crimes from 50 years ago in our community yet nobody is looking out for the future of our children!!

    who will step up to the plate and make sure our children are safe???

    • huh?

      What is you comment implying?? Are you implying that somebody that molested a child 30-40-50 years ago would not do it again today? This is a dangerous attitude to have towards YOUR childrens safety.

  • Bella

    I am saddened for these young girls! Please find them a place to stay, and force the “Hachnsos Orchim” organization to return their money or fulfill their promise to the girls.

    This is no way to treat fellow Jews!

    • baal teshuva from chicago

      these girls came to ch at their own risk, and they knew that they may have nowhere to sleep.
      they should’ve prearranged a place to stay b4 they came, and if not, thats just to bad on them. (especially after gimmel tamuz there is really no point in coming to ch for tishrei, and if they do come they have no da’as, and as it says in the talmud “mi sh’ein bo de’ah assur l’racheim alav”)

  • Yitzchok

    Very disturbing!
    Good job this criminal was caught.
    Hopefully this will be an eye opener, to make sure that nothing of this nature happens again.

  • fire our gabaim

    Not first time 770 goyim sexually abused. Fire the gabaim if nothing changes.

    • Aharon

      You talk like if we didn’t have molesters in our own community, don’t judge people by their religion, meshugger is everywhere no matter where you at, that’s not the way you treat others.

  • Finest

    CH Shomrim completely selfless putting themselves on the line to protect others. May you all be blessed.

  • out of town chassid

    I reccomend that security should be upgraded around 770 and these young girls should not be going anywhere by themselves. I hope those families sue that orginzation for misrepresentation. This incident with the assault will hopefully be a wake up call for the community leaders.

  • question

    is someone actually bringing these youth in to Crown Heights with NO plan of where they will stay??? That is so irresponsible.
    What use is all the exciting ruchnius without dependable goshmius??????????? Horrible. Weird.

    • Akshly

      They were promised a place to stay before they came but something came up and it didn’t work out

    • Sad to say

      I spoke to one of te boys who asked if he can come by me for a meal all he knows is that he will come in and eshel will set up a place for him to sleep and they all eat at eshel but the food is never enough and sad to say it’s no more about being with the rebbe it’s more of a hang out without your parents breathing down your back who would go in front of the g-d or the rebbe dressing how some of the visitors dress???? Sad to say

  • Please investigate

    If could please run an investigative article on the “food” situation that the boys have to deal with, you would be doing us a great service.

    They cram well over 400 bochurim into 1414, when they only have 200 seats, the lines are pathetic, floors and sinks morbidly filthy. Hygiene? What hygiene?
    And that’s without even getting into the food and cutlery rationing.
    Every second day you can have corn flakes. And every other day you can have one knife and a cup. No joke!

    I wouldn’t have believed half the stuff that goes on down there, but what can I say, seeing is believing!

    They show absolutely zero respect for the momoin hekdesh and the money the boys/parents paid in.
    Random male and female beggars roam in all day with complete impunity, consuming the already constrained quantity of food.

    They leave crates and crates of food at the street level, were countless random non-Jews are helping themselves to the food throughout the day!!!

    Etc. Etc.

    • Finally!

      Thank you for someone finally opening their mouth! And a shout out to the editors for publishing this.

      I can second all the above, as can many, many others. (And that is all without even touching upon the QUALITY and portions of the food, but, alas, one must learn to pick their battles.)

      The kids camp has reserved seating in the dining room. But the people that pay 770/1414 yearly tuition and live there the whole year? You can eat standing. Or wait in line for a seat to become vacant.

      The regular bochurim that stay in 1414 throughout the year, are absolutely fed up, and if does chose to make a report, you will have no shortage of us willing to speak out.

      I must add, in all fairness, that a lot of these issues do happen throughout the year, even when Eshel is not running the show. Specifically the beggar/open-house-food-kitchen aspect.

  • Total hefkayrus - TOTAL

    Bachurim and girls shopping and sighseeing in Manhattan, and halavay that’s all, v’day l’mayvin. #11, exciting ruchnios indeed.

  • disconnect

    Tishrei in CH should be for men.
    Even married men should leave their wives and children with family and make the pilgrim for their Ruchnios. And bring the inspiration home to their families.
    I remember seeing a crowd of girls with their suitcases getting into the back of a pick up truck outside 770. I presume they were being taken to a place to sleep.
    For some Israelis, Tishrei in CH has become something other than what Yom Tov al pi Chabad Chassidus really is.

    CH is in NY. Did the girl think she was safe sleeping all alone on a staircase? This is not Kfar Chabad.

  • Anonymous

    If I was brought to CH to sleep on a bench or stairwell, I would be very turned off by CH and the religion. This is what they come to CH for? Who brings them to CH and for what reason? what’s so special about sleeping in a stairwell?? What will be said to the parents of the girl who was molested?? We brought your daughter to CH to sleep in a stairwell??? This is nuts! This is not frumkeit!


      Molestation is a terrible thing, but it could & does happen anywhere, to anyone. Sure these girls are more vulnerable because they aren’t in a safe environment.

      The problem is girls, bochurim, even couples with babies arriving in CH with nowhere to stay. Obviously this “Hachanasis Orchim” organization is scamming the fee payers. But I honestly don’t understand any parent sending their kid off to a foreign country with a different language & culture without knowing the name, address & contact info of the hosts. It boggles the mind.

      I hope the Israeli police (or FBI if the organization is US tax exempt) gets involved to prosecute the scammers. IMO the parents are more to blame.



  • Solution

    The tzfattim should stand as night guards. This solution may also help with the shiduch crisis!

  • Andrea Schonberger

    Can’t nice families be found to host these young ladies in their homes? They can provide hospitality/chaperones and ensure their safety.

    • Answer

      Do YOU want to take in complete strangers for a month, feed them, give them unlimited use of your phone(yes they will use it), & all the added expenses that long term guests bring? If so, that’s very nice. Do you also want to be in loco parentis for them? Why should they be responsible for their safety? It’s about time the organizers stepped up to the plate and took responsibility, not the hosts. If you think WE have time to chaperone them you are totally unrealistic, we have our own families to take care of. It’s nice that there are long suffering hosts who put up with these kids. .

  • Outraged

    I really feel for these visitors who came to Crown Heights thinking that all their needs we’re being provided only to find that the only place to sleep was at 770 and for something so horrible to have happened to this girl us reprehensible. Several years ago someone I know had a daughter who went to Crown Heights for a Chuf Bais Shevat weekend. Her daughter thought that all arrangements had been made for sleeping, food, etc. when she arrived in Crown Heights on the Thursday evening before the weekend, her daughter tried to call the place where she was supposed to be staying. The people did not answer the phone. She went to the house and the people didn’t know anything about the arrangements that this girl stay there. This high school girl went to 770 and thought she would just sleep there. Someone told her that she’s not allowed to sleep at 770, that it’s a shul. So, the girl said that she wouldn’t sleep, she would stay up and learn and daven. The person who was going to kick this high school girl out on the streets did not ask her if she needed a place to sleep. Bh, she learned with someone and they asked her if she needed a place to sleep and she went to the girl’s house who invited her. Please, please, if you see anyone sleeping at 770, find a place for them to stay.

  • birthright

    I think there should be a ch birthright program. Just like birthright pays for jews to go to israel once for free. Jews should get one free tishrei in ch. How can these organizations or the community absorb all these people safely. One trip per person.

  • Avoiding the issue

    The real issue is – why are they coming?! The lack of accommodation is no secret. Year after year girls and boys pour into Crown Heights with no plan on where to stay or what to eat. Then Hachnasas Orchim calls and begs and begs people to take them in – people who have already moved around their whole family to accommodate guests.

    Many of these people come from a week before Rosh Hashanah till a week after Simchas Torah. They are on vacation but those who are hosting are not. It’s school and work as usual, albeit with guests wandering through the house at all hours and our children all crammed into one room. Maybe, if we’re lucky, they’ll give us some $5 gift. How can the parents of these girls and boys possibly think this is ok? How can they send their children?

  • Don't get it

    Why do ppl come here if they don’t know where they will be sleeping and eating? I just don’t get it. I mean what parent sends their child off to ny with no concrete plan and why would a girl want to be here under such conditions. I understand that tishrei here is powerful and uplifting ( or it can be ) but there’s nothing uplifting about being hungry and exhausted and having no real place to live for 2 weeks. C’mon! It’s much wiser to stay home where it is safe and celebrate tishrei with a roof over your head and food in your belly.

  • American Israeli Lubavitcher

    to #18 disconnect
    “This is not Kfar Chabad.”
    Kfar Chabad is not much better, I am sorry to say — and people who send their sons to learn there without first checking out where they will be and precisely what they are doing and with whom at which hours are sometimes later horrified to discover the “other” things they learn on their “off” hours. It seems CH has misperceptions about Israeli Chabad Chassidus, and Israel has the same about NY. Neither should be the case and how sad for our Rebbe on both counts….

  • You cannot be serious!

    They were told they have a place to stay, they are young people, and you say “too bad on them” when they are molested. So you are a Yid with no heart. Nice.

  • I'm very sad.

    This should not happen to anyone. I feel really badly for this child, and whoever promised her a place to stay SHOULD GIVE UP HIS OWN BED for her and all the other who were duped. How can you sleep at night knowing that these children are homeless?

    Hachnosas Orchim called me erev Yom Tov begging me to take someone, a couple, a few girls, anyone. They will bring me mattresses to put on my floor….
    If they were telemarketers they would be rich with their persuasion tactics.
    But I live alone. And I am afraid.
    I’ve heard the horror stories of guests who never leave. And who are these people? There is NO background check. I have no clue if they are truly shomrei Torah and Mitzvos. Or if they are just looking for a free place to stay while they shop in Manhattan for a month.

    Let’s now start a process – if you want to come to CH next Tishrei, you have to sign up by chanukkah, get references from your current teachers and principal, and at least 2 other responsible adults who can attest to your integrity and true level of yiras shomayim. If you are well behaved, and are truly interested in coming here to gain in Yiras Shomayim, you will be assigned to a specific family. I too would love to host you.
    But if you are a hooligan who will shove an elderly lady on Kingston Ave, what should I expect when you are alone with me in my home?

    • Avi

      I agree. My mother had someone placed with her, a single woman, who turned out to be psychotic and was known to have been abusive at other houses. The Hachnachas Orchim organization was informed about this woman over and over again and has done nothing.

      What CH needs to do is do a clearing out of these people who run this organization. Perhaps Youth Hostels for young people coming into town should be created somehow. OR these people need to be vetted and their hosts should be composition for the food and board that they will be providing.

      Yes, we are supposed to be able to do the mitzvah of having a guest, but how can people be expected to take in strangers and then be out the money it costs to feed these people when there are people in CH barely making ends meet.

  • SUE

    It did mention that they did pay a “fee” to a hachnosas orchim organisation for them to find a place to sleep and for meals….it is their responsibility that this happened and they should have kept their promise.SUE them…and show them how to do what is right. don’t offer something you can’t commit to doing.

  • Mother

    such a shame that this happened but not shocking. the parents if teenagers should know better since this is a yearly occurrence. one lawsuit against this Mendel Handel should solve alot of problems


    I am sorry to say, but how much can crown heights host? The place doesn’t stretch!!!!
    every year more and more people come for tishrei, but the spaces in the homes are the same. so where do you want to put everyone? in comfortable homes or hotel? for sure you have no choice but to cram them in small spaces.
    whoever comes knows it will be that way, and they still choose to come. so it’s their choice.
    Nobody asks them to come. They want comfort , let them pay $100 a night in a hotel.

  • resident

    Why are they coming to crown heights? Would you go to Israel and expect someone to just host you for a month? I promise you that if 770was in a hick town and not New York, much much less kids would come. They call it the crown heights experience. By now they should know that there is not enough places for everyone. I see the heifkeirus and opposite of tznius that goes on. No wonder ch families hesitate to let them in.

  • these girls should NOT come

    If they dont have a confirmed place to stay BEFORE they come
    point final!

  • To number 5

    I don’t know who mekareved you or who your mashpia is but it is shocking to see how you were or are being educated! How can you say that there is no point in coming to ch after gimmel tamuz?! It’s like you’re saying that the Rebbe is dead, gone, and was an amazing leader of the 20th century! The Rebbe is still with us, yes not in the same way as b4 gimmel tamuz, but there are numerous sichos of the Rebbe discussing how the Frierdikker Rebbe is still with us, and if that was true for the Rebbe about his Rebbe it is for sure true to us about our Rebbe!
    I feel bad for you bc you live in a world with no Rebbe.

    • ? WHAT

      he said in tishrei !!!
      which I agree no sense coming with no seder and food an proper gashmius
      eventually we loose on the ruchnius Too

    • to 41

      sorry you don’t see reality. Yes there are many kids who come for the kedusha. The sit in 770 and learn sichos and say tehillim and daven.
      Then there are others who would not dare behave the way they do if they believed the Rebbe (noch besser, the Aibishter!!!) could see them. Their lack of aidelkeit and general hefkeirus, chutzpah, etc is shocking!. They come and make even the sincere girls look bad. They come, and the majority of CH women stay away from 770 till after they leave. This is not the way to behave in public. Not the way to behave in a makom kadosh.
      Please, if you come, behave like a frum Jew.

    • To number 42 and 43

      To 42: If you believe that the Rebbe is still with us then no matter how bad your accommodation and food is, it is worth it. Chassidim used to travel for months through terrible conditions and pay a fortune to be with the Rebbe for Tishrei in Lubavitch!
      To 43: From what he wrote it implies that fit him the Rebbe is dead, and if the Rebbe is dead, he lives in a world without a Rebbe.

  • one two three

    Women and Men of CH you are directly responsible for this incident, no girl or boy should be left with no bed to sleep in whether they paid or didnt pay. Do we live in Sedom?

  • Sholom Ber Cohen

    How can parents send their daughters to CH without knowing exactly where they will be staying prior to their departure from Israel.
    The parents are the responsible (or irresponsible) party.


    THEY HAD A PLACE TO STAY! Not everyone is as mistrusting as some of you think they should be! This is a worldwide religious supposedly pious organization! Some of you seem to be saying, “No it’s not! Don’t trust us! And some of us would rather keep other Jews away than cry for the molested girl ! She deserved it!!??” Wow! Remind me not to become one of you EVER! Not to bother….this story will be reminder enough! Something is very wrong here.

  • To #2

    I think #1 was saying that the same problem exists today as it did 5o years ago, and that is a shame. I think the writer is saying we need to do something about it once and for all. I needed to read it a few times to read between the lines, but I think #1 had a perfect point.

  • spaced out BT

    40years ago local talmidim would rather eat at Hesed’s luncheonette than go to Eshel. The psak about Uman with guys (better off at home with family) appies how much more to girls coming unescorted to CH without being properly accommodated. Girls- stay home!

  • Shmatta Watch

    The big sonei Yisroel / sonei Lubavitch Scott R. is of course twisting this story around to make Lubavitch look bad.

    His main “point” is that, supposedly, there is really not much tzedoka help provided to unzerra in Crown Heights unless the tzedoka is coming from non-Chabad mosdos outside of Crown Heights.

    In trying to blame 770 for every drifter from abroad instead of recognizing they are also partially at fault, Scott (in the comments section) is lying about Dept of Homeland Security rules that apply to foreigners entering the country.

    • moishe613

      you are a prime example of why people comment on negative aspects of chabad-lubavitch.

      now….toodle off

  • Embarrassed

    I have been reading these comments, trading blame, and judgement on why this could have happened and who is responsible. To me though, it seems like we’re all missing about what this is really saying about us! We are Frum Yidden, a Frum community that is supposed to be a bastion of Torah and Chasidus! Yes this girl and her family are responsible for her and her welfare, but by blaming them your saying that they should have known better than to rely on a world renowned chasidus that very purpose revolves around taking care of other Jews. These are supposed to be our brothers and sisters!! I don’t care what the reason they came is and whether they are right or wrong, and even putting aside the attempted crime for a second, how has this become so normal to us? how can we, or any Jew sleep at night knowing there are children, G-DS CHILDREN, OUR children (!!!) sleeping on steps, in a shul or on the street??? Is this what it means to be a member of the Am Segulah? What has become of us?
    As a community WE ALL need to stand and take responsibility for this!! There is something very wrong here. Right now we have created a reality, where we are willing to go to the ends of the earth, risking our lives, to take care of other Jews; yet our brothers and sisters are sleeping on our very own door steps..

  • Alte Chosid

    In the old days when a chosid would leave his family to spend yom tov with the Alte Rebbe or other Rebbeim, would women or girls go to the Rebbe for yom tov – alone????????
    Q. When did we become Reform?
    A. When we lost the war on pritzus.

    • Young Chosid

      Old Man, it is a new world and come join us.

      The ways of the “good old days” no longer apply (and they weren’t so “good” anyway!).

      Today, girls and women are EQUAL partners in chassidus, shlichus and involvement in the world.

      This is Dor Ha’Shmini!

    • alta ba'alas teshuvah

      You are so right, Alte Chosid. those girls should be at home with their families, not in CH. I’m glad this unfortunate occurrence came into the open…maybe now their parents will think twice about allowing young girls to go off on the supposedly ruchnius adventure. If the neshoma of a tzadik is makif after his passing, a rebbe is just as accessible in Israel as here. I can’t see the vast majority of the young girls getting anything positive from their stay in CH. They should be told to stay HOME.

    • Confused

      What is the position of mashpiim on this topic?

      Do chassidos have an equal role as chassidim?

      Do girls also “travel to the Rebbe” – just like men?

      Is the Alte Chosid right or wrong?

      Is the Young Chosid right or wrong?

      I am confused and want to hear “mah ha’avodah hazo’os” – what is our avodah???????

    • Avi

      You are all disgusting.

      Coming to CH shouldn’t be the privilege of men.

      A woman who is violated by a man SHOULD NEVER BE ACCEPTED. There is no reason for it to ever happen. There is absolutely no lesson to be learned except that THIS SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.

      CH needs to change. Stop letting this happen.

  • George Duguid

    Why don’t they show this in the news? No, they only show what bad cops do to people, never good stuff.

  • talmid of r' yisroel

    reb yisroel shemtov said you should give up your bed (ahavas yisroel)

    • Share

      Ahavas Yisroel is “komocha” – equal to self. I would be happy to share my bed with any boy or girl who needs a place to sleep.

    • huh?

      define “share” your bed? Do you mean at the same time with you or at different times then your use of the bed?

  • nancy davidson

    Maybe if the women wouldn’t allow themselves to be treated like garbage by fellow Jews (I am Jewish) and include theirselves in decent housing this would probably not have happened. I feel nothing for the Jewish women. The religious persons are ruining Israel. They need to come into the modern world.