Assault Rifle and Drugs Found in Aliya Storage Area

A 911 call for ‘possible weapons’ inside of the building of the Aliya Institute lead police to discover a number of firearms, including an assault rifle, a hunting rifle and a pellet gun, as well as a large quantity of drugs.

The incident began unfolding at around 4:30pm Tuesday afternoon in the Aliya Institute, at 525-527 E. New York Ave. in Crown Heights, when a number of police officers responded to a call stating that there were guns and drugs on the premises.

After requesting and receiveing permission to search the premises, police officers found illegal firearms and drugs in a storage area of the Shul.

A police source said that among the items found was an AR-15 assault rifle and a hunting rifle, both unregistered, as well as a pellet gun. They also found a cache of illegal narcotics including pills and other hallucinogenics.

“The area where police found the guns and drugs is a small closet that we have been renting out to an individual” Rabbi Moshe Feiglin, director of Aliya Institute told CrownHeights.info. “Police arrested the person renting the space in which the items were found.”

The suspect was only identified as a 28-year-old Jewish man.

“[Rabbi Moshe] Feiglin is being very cooperative with us, he wants nothing to do with this kind of stuff and wants it out of his synagogue” a law enforcement source told CrownHeights.info.

88 Comments

  • 1. CHResident wrote:

    Aliya is a place for bad get’s to get worse and for good kids to get bad.

    Those who are looking for a place to fry out, go to Aliya.

    That place must be shut down.

    It’s only there for money, not to help our children

    • 2. Anonymous wrote:

      Dont talk till you know from experience. Its a great place. This is just one incident. Its done tons of good for boys.

    • 3. Bored?? wrote:

      You obviously have no clue what goes on there, so instead of bashing, get a life and do at least 1% of what they do in helping others

    • 4. SA wrote:

      You obviously don’t know anything, rabbi feiglin has done tremendous work to help confused youth in Crown Heights and has been doing it for ages, whether they are confused sexually or religiously.
      Youth don’t come there to fry out, the opposite actually, I know personally from experience and I know some guys that have turned they’re life around thanks to Aliyah, don’t be a hater or jealous, your torah explains that! If you had some common sense you would see the missions they accomplished and how much they’ve grown and continue to do so.

    • 5. MM Connecticut wrote:

      Aliyah is a place for good to get better and for good kids to get better those who are looking for a place to get frum, go to Aliyah. The place must expand. Its’ only there to help our children, NOT
      for money

  • 6. Zev wrote:

    All the young kids that have passed from OD these passed few years, were attendees of Aliya.

    • 7. lsw wrote:

      so #4, what are in inferring from this? That Aliya increased their vulnerability? I would think that they provided love and support and these kids were just too far gone to be helped. Why would you just jump to infer that Aliya failed them? If it were your kid, you would be grateful that they provided him/her with the non judgemental love and support on their painful journey.

    • 9. You have it backwards wrote:

      That’s like saying murders happen in prison, therefore it must be shut down.

  • 11. About Time wrote:

    Rabbi Feiglin knew about this guy and his drug dealing habits to the teenagers of A.L.I.Y.A.

    He chose to ignore it as he was paying his rent on time

  • 14. whats new wrote:

    please rabbi feiglin knows exactly what goes on their he let this nut live their who has plenty of cars he never moves as well . right near bais rivkah with 2000 kids this guy was always a loose cannon who knows what gd forbid he could have done

    • 15. To Simon wrote:

      Rabbi feiglin searched his storage space on several occasions and never found anything. It took a freind to rat him out and tell the cops exactly where it was to bust him. Rabbi Feiglin doesn’t judge people based on rumors.
      I’m sorry about your parking spaces. I guess you’re parking on East new York is more important than our kids lives…

  • 16. Small but wiled place wrote:

    It is time someone takes responsibility for the lawlessness and strange people that stay and use the place.

  • 18. FormerCHresident wrote:

    Aliya is a place that only Moshe Feiglin could run with his limitless and unconditional love. We should all support him and even more so now. Maybe we can help him financially in order to develop protocols/system of avoiding similar unfortunate incidents in future. Keep going Reb Moshe, you are a true chossid.

    • 19. CurrentCHResident wrote:

      Moshe Feiglin brings the Torah [down] to his “students”, instead of bringing them [up] to the Torah.

      Instead of going to bars and clubs (where they would have to pay for drinks etc…), they get to stay in CH and do the same thing (with free drinks etc..).

      If you are thinking of G-d forbid becoming fry, Aliya is a place for you.

      I am yet to hear of one real success story come out of that place.

  • 20. Disgraced wrote:

    You people should be ashamed of yourselves. For all the hard work Rabbi Feiglin puts in, and this is the response he gets. What should the community do to these kids, completely ignore them, turn their backs on them or never give them a chance? Has aliyah had zero success stories? Are they a complete failure of a program? Not every kid is able to be helped, but we as jews, lubavitchers and human beings need to do everything in our power to offer these kids assistance. Youth at risk is never a perfect formula and never has perfect results, for if it did we wouldnt have kids in these situations. But all you haters out there wanna point fingers at the people who dedicate their lives to helping these kids, and we all know its not for the lucrative paycheck. How different is it from being a shliach anywhere else in the world. Hes fighting on the ground to turn peoples lives around for the better, not just for yiddishkeit, but for social and moral decency as well. The only people i see doing anything and everything and always being there for the kids of our community is aliyah. So i stand up with them in their fight, and i tell all you haters to just SHUT UP.

    • 21. awacs wrote:

      “So i stand up with them in their fight, and i tell all you haters to just SHUT UP.”

      Better yet – since you obviously know better than Rabbi Feiglin about how to run a Chabad house – why don’t you open up a Chabad house nearby, take in the same kind of kids, and run rings around ALIYA? Show us by example how it’s done.

  • 22. Shocking wrote:

    Shocking how Rabbi Feiglin plays dumb and innocent. He knew the guy was a dealer and he gave him a roof over his head and a safe haven to conduct business. As I heard Feiglin say “he is a good tenant he pays his rent on time”

    • 23. To 22 wrote:

      He never paid rent at all. He used to help out at the shul as payment. He would do building repairs, put up the sukka and take it down plus anything else that was needed. Rabbi Feiglin is not about the money he’s about having a safe and beautiful home for our youth

  • 24. Aliya mother wrote:

    My son is frum and married now thanks to Rabbi Feiglin.
    When he first came to Aliya he was fry and on drugs.
    I owe my life to Aliya

  • 25. Blaming Aliya for deaths wrote:

    Blaming Aliya for the deaths in the community is like blaming hatzalah for the sick people. They are the only ones out there trying to help our youth.

  • 26. sometimes you need to maser wrote:

    Interesting how nobody is questioning whether the person renting the basement should have been maser’d to the cops, but when it comes to a molester, who is just as dangerous to our youth, many defenders come out of the wood-works. Maybe if the drug dealer was Gezhe, this would have also been dealt with “internally” (as in leave our community and go deal drugs in another frum community)

  • 27. Be careful wrote:

    Aliya is a Bais Chabad under the Rebbe. Whoever writes negativity about a chabad house is messing with all the Rebbeim

    • 28. This is ridiculous wrote:

      Just because i mean wears garbs and posters a certain way does not mean he is saved from the scrutiny and criticism of others or that he is right person to be responsible over kids. He is just a man with flaws and sins like any other. No man is perfect. But adults who are charged with the responsibility and care of children should be held to a higher standard of accountability. Because kids are low hanging fruit easy to manipulate, abuse and neglect , especially marginalized youth. Objectivity, may be the most important way to protect the youth, not defending a grow man with an ample sense of right and wrong.

  • 29. to #3 and other losers wrote:

    Shame on you.
    They would have OD at home lonely and cold with NO ONE to share their burden with?
    Is that better?
    And THAT means Aliyah is at fault maybe?
    You are a living imbicle.
    You have NO idea what its like.
    Aliya has open door policy for such nebach individuals.

    These are OUR kids. Yes mostly ours.
    What exactly have you done today or this week or this month to assist help or give a kind word to one or two of these many kids or young adults?

    Feiglin has the support he needs from those that care. There are enough that put there money were their mouth is and assist him. Unlike these commenters and posters I bet you are all unemployed and miserably unhappy at home!

    Guess what, you will find a listening human at aliya.

    ALiya has hatzola people around the corner too – that render selfless help so often….why don’t you discuss your miserable thoughts with them first before you knock an institution like that?

    Do you know of the many success stories that Aliya has had? Like really know? Obviously NOT.

    Aliyah has R Nota Shemtov that is so involved with these young adults and kids that others shun. Like you.

    Bottom line is most likely you guys have NO idea what life is really about let alone know what a Chabad house is all about. That is why you post as you did.

    Now about this fellow – it is easy to say anything you want and use any conspiracy theory available..but the bottom line is there ARE all types and nebach many fall very low and do stupid things. This idiot should have been sent away long ago but not always an easy thing to do. I highly doubt Aliyah knew how corrupt this guy was, and that’s why some of these comments shock me

    • 30. CHLEAKS.COM wrote:

      “They would have OD at home lonely and cold with NO ONE to share their burden with?
      Is that better?”

      Were you high when you wrote this?

      In fact! They did OD at home lonely and cold with NO ONE to share their burden with.

      They OD because they have no one. Going to Aliya did not do anything for them! Aliya is just another club or hang out.

      Free drinks.

  • 31. Milhouse wrote:

    An AR-15 is not an “assault rifle”! Assault rifles are by definition capable of automatic, or at least burst fire. The AR-15 is an ordinary semiautomatic rifle (i.e each time you pull the trigger you get only one bullet), not at all scary, and equally useful for home defense, hunting, and target shooting. It’s the most popular rifle in America, mostly because it can be fired safely by women, and can be adjusted to be used by people of all sizes.

    • 32. soxfan wrote:

      Actually, the term is defined differently depending on the jurisdiction.
      In Connecticut, for example, the law specifically defines the Colt AR-15 and Sporter as an “assault weapon.”
      Source: General Statutes § 53-202a (a) (applies to §§ 53-202b — 202k).

      Need to check with a competent attorney before buying.

    • 33. Milhouse wrote:

      “Assault weapon” is a made-up term that doesn’t mean anything, and legislatures can assign it any meaning they like. No reasonable person ever uses the term, because it’s meaningless, and is only ever used to scare people.

      “Assault rifle” is an actual thing, and has a definition, which no legislature can chnage, any more than it can change how many legs a dog has. If you only ever get one bullet out every time you squeeze the trigger, then it’s not an assault rifle, and whoever calls it one is either showing their ignorance or deliberately lying.

    • 34. soxfan wrote:

      When a legislature, such as Connecticut’s, specifically states that an “AR-15” is an assault weapon, it doesn’t matter whether it is capable of automatic, semi-automatic or burst fire.
      Same penalties for possession apply. Obviously, they are reacting to the school shooting and maybe too much, but the statute has to be given its plain meaning.

  • 36. CHresident & Aliya Alumni wrote:

    Aliya is a great place and has done much good for the community and Chabad families around the world (and everyone in between). I can personally attest to the above statement. Listen, Aliya is out there helping these boys and yes some are real tough characters; and sometimes things get out of hand. However, this doesn’t negate the great work this organization does. This incident is nothing more than a speed bump in the road to success.

    To R’ Feiglin I say you are doing a great job, but keep a steady eye of what goes on in Aliya’s premises and on activities. Trust but verify.

    To all other commentators spewing worthless criticism and hatred, I say talk is cheap. If you can do it better than Aliya then go ahead do something for these boys. If you can’t, shut your mouths and say no more. Don’t be quick to judge, for you never know who in your family or friends may need Aliya’s assistance one day.
    May G-d bless you all,

  • 38. A great place wrote:

    Keep up the good work! No one has the right to make any negative comments until they have personally been there and seen first hand what happens there.

  • 40. Aliyah Member wrote:

    Aliyah has helped me in the past tremendously with all its amazing programs under the directive of Rabbi Feiglin and Rabbi Shemtov (with the help of a couple others) who have literally given their lives over to this amazing cause helping people that this community and the people who are commenting negatively on this article have messed over. there is no shortage of love at aliyah and i will continue going there and donating whatever money i can to this amazing institute!! THANK YOU SO MUCH MOSHE!!!!

  • 41. Do Your Research wrote:

    Don’t say things without knowing your facts. You just sound uneducated and ignorant like most Crown Heighters. Listening to the media does not make you educated. It makes you naive. The media projects things the way they want people to see it. So you uneducated and naive ones are fooled by the misconceptions and tweaks that the media reveals.
    Non of you obviously experienced Aliya for yourself and only heard the various rumors spreaded.

    • 42. CHLEAKS.COM wrote:

      “You just sound uneducated and ignorant like most Crown Heighters.”

      Please educate us, the uneducated and ignorant Crown Heighters.

      What do you know that we don’t?

      What makes you so educated and smart?
      _______________
      What does your rant regarding media have to do with this article or any of the comments written here?

  • 43. Disgusting!! wrote:

    Are you taking care of the boys on the streets? the boys in the bars? clubs?

    Stop these negatives comments, ALIYA won’t make every boy perfect, but even if they better just a few boys IS MORE THEN WHAT YOUR DOING!!

    Can’t believe the hate I’m reading here

    • 44. Anonymous wrote:

      agreed! these kids are really in bad shape and damaged, and i see firsthand the work the feiglins do. They are unbelievable! Does every person that goes to a bais chabad become frum? obviously not. these kids cannot all be saved, but they sure fell welcomed and loved there.

  • 45. crown heights resident wrote:

    Everyone in crown heights should try to do something to help Aliya. By volunteering or by giving them Tzedokah

  • 46. msm wrote:

    #30: I fully agree with that. Anyone who disagrees is probably out of the realm of reality. This is like intolerance without full information and/or understanding.

  • 47. Resident wrote:

    We could only imagine what would have happened if this troubled young man had gotten his way. Why would he need those weapons in the first place.

  • 48. Painful to read these comments wrote:

    Here’s a way to look at this Aliyah issue:

    1. Most attendees have not thrived in the yeshiva system.

    2. They have been ridiculed and/or bullied in school and/or at home.

    3. Traditional avenues were not welcoming to them. (Yeshivas erev, contests, etc.

    4. In the past, young men often abandoned Yiddishkeit altogether.

    5. Aliyah steps in to empathize and sway the tide back into mainstream Judaism.

    6. Perhaps those so against Aliyah’s presence should have done a better job years ago in having Ahavas Yisroel towards these neshamas so they wouldn’t be so impressionable toward off the derech behavior as young adults now.

    Rabbi Feiglin – ignore these comments and continue in your accepting and beautiful mission.

  • 49. a buchor wrote:

    i want to tell you #1 that did u ever go to aliyah do u really know what its like????????????????????????

  • 50. msm wrote:

    #17 is a very wise comment. Very much in touch.
    Aliya might just be making mistakes, just like any chabad house learns from its mistakes, but they are doing THE REBBE’S WORK.
    what is wrong with you all? The Rebbe passionately loved the children and wanted the best for them in any situation. Is a child worthy of help only if they are “good” ? In that case, what is “good”?? Maybe you will do something and someone will feel you don’t deserve support.

  • 52. to milhouse #21 wrote:

    There is something wrong with what you write in the context of things and therefore brings me to think there is something wrong with you!
    חכם מהו אומר!

    • 53. Milhouse wrote:

      “There is something wrong with what you write in the context of things”?! What exactly does that mean? Does it mean anything at all? Exactly what is wrong, and how? What has the context got to do with it? Either something is right or it’s wrong; context doesn’t change that.

      In this case, calling an AR-15 an “assault rifle” is wrong, in any context. It’s an attempt to make it more scary than it is, in order to exaggerate the impact of the story. So what is wrong with correcting it?

    • 54. Ezra wrote:

      Milhouse, there are times when your comments are respectable and necessary – they point out factors al pi Torah that others are overlooking.

      This isn’t one of those cases. In an article about something going severely wrong at a community institution (whether R. Feiglin is or isn’t at fault here – I’m not getting into that), fixating on the detail of whether the AR-15 is an “assault rifle” or just a plain weapon is a little obtuse. It reminds me of the spoof advice column at http://www.snopes.com/humor/letters/miriam.asp, and is frankly unworthy of a serious commenter.

    • 55. Milhouse wrote:

      The article is not about “something going severely wrong”. It is about an assault rifle and drugs allegedly being found. That is the headline, whose purpose is to sum up the whole story. And it’s wrong. Don’t you think accurate reporting matters?

  • 56. Don't worry wrote:

    about the negative comments. I’m pretty sure they’re coming from the same mothers or fathers who blamed their kids teachers and principals for every problem their kid had, instead of looking into themselves. Of course not every teacher and principal is perfect, but look at how many children were not affected by those imperfect teachers, etc.

    If you can’t respect authority, get advice from a mentor, or from someone qualified to help!

    To those running Aliya, your Gan Eiden is that much greater when people do’nt appreciate all the lives you’ve saved. I’m sure you will do everything in your power to keep the place as safe as possible. May Hashem protect!!!

  • 57. NM wrote:

    Rabbi Moshe Feiglin is the only good thing Crown Heights can brag about these days. He is an amazing person. Keep up the good work Rabbi!!

  • 58. CT Shluchah wrote:

    The work Aliya does is enormous!
    Rabbi Feiglin dedicates his life to these boys.
    Would YOU do this for a living?
    I just attended a Sheva Brachos of a very good bachur who married one awesome girl.
    What I didn’t know is that he is an Aliya Alum!!
    One wouldn’t know…what a living miracle!
    I wonder what you Aliya bashers do for a living? What have you accomplished?? If you are commenting on Crown Heights.info with such negativity….doesn’t say much about who you are.

  • 59. its a slippery sloap! wrote:

    Is it ok to maser a yid?
    If so the when, and who decides ?
    It seems that masering a pedophole is ok, particularly because the passions of the day have allowed for it. And remember when a 12 year old lubavitch girl was rapped repeatedly by a black drug dealer a few years ago….. how did she get acquainted with the person? , ill tell you a secret, I know lots of them, some one she lnew was buying drugs. Oh and do you Rwmember how delicately the NYPD and HYNES office handled the defendant? Um not saying we should condone pedophilia possibly it should be handled internally. Drugs too seem to be a passionate banner with wich we waver over our children in to protect them, but is massering anyone invalved with drugs, is that acceptible by halacha? Soon you will hear argumebts in favor of not only msser of any kind but will be arguing the acceptability of bringing false accusations bto the police ecause maybe a person is simply unlikeble or maby because he wont give his wif a get.

    Its a slippery sloap and we are sliding down it.

    I havent even begunt to bring up the question of loshen hara, I guess its ok if our passions are are inflamed.

    funny thing is that this whole thing came to light because a druggie was refused drugs, for what ever reason. So for reveng the bufungul arranged for this sad shlep to be arrested,

    Do you realize this guy if 20 years in prison, has a wife and a child. And willl likely remain an aguna as long as tgis guy is locked up? U didnt think about that did you.

  • 60. bad very bad wrote:

    you know something these people are nothing but a bunch of stupid losers and they have no idea what they’re doing Aliya Shul should shut down the place these people are really very sick in the head

  • 61. Montreals Gangsta Cohen wrote:

    SHAME ON ALL YOU HATERS!!!!!!
    DO YOU GOT ANY CLUE WHAT IT IS TO STRUGGLE?? WHAT IT IS TO SUFFER??
    THESE SO CALLED “NEBACHS” ARE JUST KIDS THAT LACK LOVE AND AFFECTION AND WHO WENT THRU HORRIBLE EXPERIENCES IN THEIR LIFE SO BEFORE YOU BASH THINK BOUT THE FOLLOWING…
    DONT JUDGE A FELLOW UNTILL YOU HAVE BEEN IN HIS PLACE!!!
    I AINT RELIGIOUS BUT HEY THE ABOVE PIRKEI AVOT IS TRUE!!!

  • 63. Aliya has helped many. wrote:

    From the little bit that I know about Aliya I can say with confidence that Aliya has helped quite a few individuals turn out to be decent and hard working members of our community.

    In particular Moshe Feiglin has won the trust and respect of ALL the boys and has a positive effect on everyone of them , each on their own level.

    Nota Shemtov is dedicated and also well liked and respected. He works many hours during regular hours and just as many hours over time.

    Sorry to say this but many of the negative comments above seem to be self serving and they are saying things without any evidence to back up their accusations.

  • 64. Stupidity wrote:

    It puts a bad name on chabad houses that many bad apples can bring an institution down to it’s knees. I blame the community for it as well.

  • 65. yenta wrote:

    remember one thing in life money talks and the rest walks….and that applies with everybody, no matter who. SORRY GUYS.but it’s a fact.

  • 66. Crown Heights Resident wrote:

    I think that, Taking Care of these troubled guys at Aliyah is similar to the mitzvah of Egla Arufa. (The main part of this Mitzvah is for everyone to declare that they had no part in the death of this victim.)

    But How Many People In Crown Heights Could Of Saved These Individuals From Needing The Services Of Aliyah.

  • 67. Anonymous wrote:

    You guys live segregated lives but then hide behind things like this. As a fellow crown heighter i am ashamed of the free pass u jews get. The suspect should get the book thrown at him, just as it would apply to anybody else.

    • 68. um wrote:

      I am not sure if I am reading your post correctly but if its saying what I think it is then you are missing the whole point of this discussion (or witch hunt) This is not about giving anybody a free pass, this is about clearing the name of Moshe Feiglin and Aliya who have done nothing wrong, the perp should get the book thrown at them but Aliya has nothing to do with this.

  • 69. shneur wrote:

    Rabbi feiglin is an incredible person with the sweetest heart. Ita disgusting how people can turn this whole thing around and bash him and his program. Shame on you all that are doing this.

  • 70. michael wrote:

    Is there any professional help, care, guidance, therapy available at Aliya besides the love and warmth etc.?

  • 71. East new York resident wrote:

    As a resident of East new York and daven at Aliya on shabbos I happen to know that the subject was hated by neighbors for parking his trucks on the block. They used to make up rumors to get him kicked out. Rabbi Feiglin investigated the rumors every time and only the last time did he actually find evidence.
    Rabbi Feiglin doesn’t judge based on rumors only with actual facts…

  • 72. just me wrote:

    to #26

    you totally miss the whole point of that entire comment – you must be one of the folks that have no job and are upset that Aliyah is even open altogether wow!!

    the negativity of some is huge – and I though someone with chleaks would at least have half a brain to decipher the message.

    It seems that message was to #3, and the comment #’s have changed. It was a message to the detractors and haters and those commenting against ALiya etc.

  • 73. addiction wrote:

    First off all, I worked with AA etc (with my patients)and there is something anyone who knows even a drop about the 12 step program,the kids need to WANT to get off first.The place cannot make them stop but hopefully Aliyah house will inspire them somehow if they are able to listen.Kids are young and maybe one of them will be motivated.Even if not,and even if they are sick and even if if if if….they still need some unconditional acceptance because as human beings,they still deserve to be loved and given a chance.These are someones’ children and no one knows that their lives were like.So you think by getting rid of the place,the “problem”will be soved? Pray that your judgmentalness and hatefulness will be forgiven by the One Above!

  • 75. Stupidity wrote:

    I blame the community for this maybe Aliya should buy an apartment building or other housing arrangement should be made. These kids should not be sleeping inside of the shul building.

  • 76. Sholom Wahrhaftig wrote:

    I would like to thank R. Moshe Faiglan for dealing with all the people the Chabad community has turned their backs on over the years, and the fact that he is willing to dedicate his mind, body, and soul to anybody who crosses his path.

    I remember R Faiglan talking to me once about how a true chossid always focuses on the positive rather then the negative, hopefully he sees my post stand out above all the close minded individuals hating on an amazing person and place that is the last and only connection that many young men have left to their upbringings.

    Rather then focusing on the negative and slandering one of the pillars of your community, reach out to him and see how you can get involved with the positive. (Im sure that anonymous donations from the anonymously hateful are also acceptable)

  • 78. How can we judge success? wrote:

    I want to add here that we cannot know how many students this “program” has worked for. Its not always about making them frum, its more about helping them; saving lives, giving love and acceptance… (this is just my philosophy, i dont know if the organization agrees with me).

    Would you rather your child be frum and close to death or possibly not frum but saved from death. Yes, its about life and death! we can never know how many lives were saved from drug overdoes or suicide…

    lastly, i am glad to see so many hatters; when something good is changing people will fight very hard to stick with the old ways. It proves to me that this is something powerful.

  • 80. Aliya members wrote:

    Aliya’s Lifeline:

    As someone who has greatly benefited from Rabbi Feiglin’s tremendous work at Aliyah I want to say the following: Aliya is by far one of the very few places in Crown Heights where I feel unconditionally welcomed. Like you, I too was troubled by the news that drugs and weapons were allegedly found inside of the Aliyah Youth Center. However, if you know one thing about Moshe Feiglin’s work with Crown Heights and shluchim’s kids, this news isn’t really shocking at all.

    What I did find more shocking were the vicious anonymous comments on websites calling for Aliyah to be “shut down”. With nasty comments insinuating that it’s a place for kids to “hang out and get free drinks”.

    I write this today in response to all of Aliya’s detractors as well as to those who only know about the headlines that Aliyah has made but not about what Aliyah actually does.

    Rabbi Moshe Feiglin told me that in 2003 he was contemplating going on shlichus but every time he wrote into the Lubavitcher Rebbe for a brocha his response was always the same:
    To continue doing what he was doing.

    What was he doing?
    Moshe had previously been on shlichus in the Yeshiva Bnei Menachem in Wilkes Barre, PA. That was only the beginning of his life saving work that has saved countless lives. After receiving the same response about shlichus over and over again, Rabbi Feiglin decided to do his shlichus at the core of Lubavitch and cater to the most forgotten, shunned and ignored people in Chabad, the children of Crown Heights.

    What started as just a rented room in 2003 has turned into a thriving center that offers unconditional acceptance, a bite to eat, a place to talk, and most importantly, open doors to anyone in need. Rabbi Feiglin entered the field of counseling and is constantly referring kids to mental health, addiction counseling and job placement services. Today Aliya boasts a building of its own that includes a shul, a lounge, commercial kitchen that was built by one of our own members, a recording studio and a fish tank, and our plan is only to continue growing and offering vital services to Chabad’s next generation.

    Aliyah has been a lifeline for so many people! Rabbi Feiglin estimates that in its 12 years of existence it’s been of service to at least 12 to 1300 people. Despite this truly holy and life-saving work, there are those don’t appreciate what goes on here. Are they doing anything themselves in this area? No. Rather they feel it would be better to close the ONLY resource for people like myself and many others who have benefited and continue to benefit. If I had to speculate, I would guess that these anonymous individuals writing their hurtful comments would rather that Lubavitch be only for “normal” people, with all others like us being swept under the rug and ignored.

    During Aliyah’s existence we’ve lost too many of our own to drugs, sexual abuse, and many other unfortunate things yet for every one person that was lost, at least four were saved. One example that Rabbi Feiglin gave me was the time five years ago that he called an Aliyah member with a job opportunity that on that very day was in his own words “about to jump in front of a train”. Rabbi Feiglin had called him to let him know that he had a job for him…. fast forward to five years later, this person is still working at this same job and most importantly, he’s alive and well.

    While the recent events that happened at Aliyah are indeed troubling, but I ask you to please consider how much worse off those hundreds of lives would be today, lives that Aliyah single-handedly saved and improved. Is then, calling for an end to such a vital organization that’s been a lifeline the answer? Aliyah is today the ONLY connection to yiddishkeit for many of us, it allows us to feel welcome despite the fact that many of us never fit into the typical mode of a Chabad person. And Isn’t Chabad based on the Baal Shem Tov’s basis of Ahavas Yisrael?

    As we’ve already conceded, none of us are perfect and we all have our struggles, but Rabbi Feiglin is being proactive about it by offering us help that many of us would not otherwise have. Do you really think that calling for a complete end to such a service will help us continue rebuilding kids’ lives when this is the only resource here at home that’s devoted to such a mission? Is trashing Aliyah anonymously and (very mistakenly) by outrageously claiming that Rabbi Feiglin knew about the presence of contraband but didn’t care because he was more interested in rent money? Do shluchim look in the pockets of people walking into their Chabad Houses? (Ed note: If one thinks about how much Aliyah costs to run per day, then the argument becomes more ridiculous- The few pennies of rent from this renter cannot have been so significant)

    I humbly ask you all what you propose should be done about the precarious lives of YOUR children that are otherwise hopeless and greatly at risk. (Perhaps you don’t know it, but your child or brother perhaps comes here).

    If you’re not willing to step up and offer a better alternative I respectfully ask that you put up or shut up. Either create something better in the spirit of kinus sofrim or at least leave off your complaining over what Rabbi Feiglin’s created- a true lifeline for Crown Heights youth. If you have a better idea, don’t hold back. Create something competitive Throw in your hat and try to come up with more practical solutions to prevent this from happening in the future.

    -Proud Aliya Members including:

    Mendy Sacho
    Mordechai Feinstein
    Moishe Chanin
    Chaim Botnik
    Nachman Blizinsky
    Leible Gordon
    Moishe Sirota
    Mendy Scheiner
    Chaim Rothman
    Mendy Alexander
    Menahcem Leiblich
    Moishe Gurkov
    Elias Rosner
    Aron Vogel
    Zaki Tamir
    Levi Ostrov
    Ari Vogel
    Aron Helman
    Chaim Levin
    Meir Engel
    Mendle Pil
    Miki Cohen
    Mordy Glukowski
    Pinny Goodman
    Reuven Zaluf
    Sender Hellinger
    [name removed]
    Levi Raymod
    Asher Raymond
    Yoel Lipshits
    Yossi Tatik
    Zalman Raksin
    Zev Stern
    Menachem Malka
    And many many more amazing young people…

  • 84. MrsAdler wrote:

    “He who saves One life, has saved a World”
    nof said.
    Except in this case it isn’t. Because had just 1,just-1 o.d been prevented since it’s inception, then=Dayeinu!
    -as in, the ENTIRE past decade of Aliyah would’ve been justified just for that one single individual’s life.

    That Rabbi’s NS+F has saved dozens if not HUNDREDS over the past decade is a living breathing testamount to the incredibly astounding nature of their successful intervention & prevention.

    Sure it’s easy to talk about the tiny few which slipped thru the cracks but believe you me, they were unhelpable,as in way beyond over addicted & no one could’ve saved them. Not even the worlds best Dr. can help the terminally ill. Do we blame the Dr or Hospital?

    Aliyah cannot force the camel to the trough, let alone the water (e.m.e.t.) to the muzzle, as thats occurred precisely 1 time. ever. (I saw it last week…)

    What dosent make fodder for the naysayers is the headlines they’ll never read. namely the thousands of success stories that rabbis ns+f have created. nothing less short ,save, for the lives that were created…. 2 weeks ago.

    In fact NO place as open and unconditionally accepting-of EVERY hungry & parched soul has ever existed, since the original tent opened up….3 weeks ago.

    regarding the drinks some individuals seem to have a issue with, I challenge you to find a single Hassidic folk tale that dosen’t entail generous libations of copious helpings. not to mention no aliyah is ever without a……………………………..?

  • 85. simon wrote:

    this is the same place where a guy a couple of years ago was ruffed up by a cop, and then settled with the city for a few bucks. Gotta get that place under control.

  • 86. To Simon wrote:

    A) when you go to war there will be casualties
    B) what are you offering to do to help this phenomenal cause other than criticism?

  • 88. Grateful wrote:

    I have two sons who had frequented Aliyah on a steady basis. The one who went on trips, BBQ’s, and other functions is now frum and learning in Israel. The other benefited from shofar, Neilah, and Simchas Torah this past month. Need I say more of Aliyah’s contribution to this community?

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