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Crown Heights Politics Takes A Drastic Turn For The Worse

Yitzchok Wagshul – The Crown Heights Chronicle
Moshe Rubashkin with a group of supporters outside the 71st precinct last Thursday.

Crown Heights politics took another decided turn for the horrible last week, as Jewish Community Council/Vaad HaKahal chairman Moshe Rubashkin and Netzigim chairman—according to some—Yisroel Best were arrested following a violent incident Monday night.

The violence, which occurred at a N’tzigim meeting Mr. Rubashkin had convened in his home, took place against the backdrop of ongoing contention and strife that has plagued the Rubashkin administration from the outset. Rooted in the controversy involving the Beis Din (sad to say, it must now be clarified that the controversy referred to is the original one, not the more recent controversy involving elections), the continuing struggle heated up after the N’tzigim’s annual election in September, when that body’s Executive Board, then chaired by Reuven Lipkind, was ousted by a slate critical of Mr. Rubashkin’s policies. The winning slate was chaired by Mr. Best. Subsequently, in April, Mr. Rubashkin called a meeting of N’tzigim in his home, at which the Vaad chairman’s supporters purported to hold a special election to replace the Best administration with a new Executive Committee—favorable to Mr. Rubashkin—chaired by Yankel Wice. Since that time, the Best slate and the Wice slate have each claimed to be the sole legitimate Executive Committee of the N’tzigim.

Predictably, the lawsuit against Mr. Rubashkin recently filed in civil court was supported by the Best faction and condemned by the Wice faction. As a tactic in fighting the lawsuit, Mr. Rubashkin called another N’tzigim meeting Monday night for the purpose of impeaching Vaad HaKahal member Leibish Nash, the plaintiff. It was during that meeting, which both Mr. Rubashkin and Mr. Best simultaneously attempted to chair, that the fight erupted.

When the meeting began, only the Wice faction was present, although Mr. Wice himself arrived later. Wice faction Vice Chairman Benny Raskin, who would ordinarily have conducted the meeting in Mr. Wice’s absence, did not object when Mr. Rubashkin himself, claiming the right to do so as the person who had called the session, began acting as chair. One Natzig, who arrived shortly after the meeting began, said he observed the Best group lingering outside Mr. Rubashkin’s home as he entered, apparently, he said, preparing themselves for a coordinated appearance.

As Mr. Rubashkin introduced Rabbi Mordechai Gurary of Chevra Shas, who was to open the meeting with a D’var Torah, the Best group entered all together. According to eyewitness accounts, Mr. Best took a place at the table opposite Mr. Rubashkin, banged on the table as though calling the meeting to order, and announced that the meeting was about to begin. Mr. Rubashkin asked him to wait his turn and that everyone would be permitted to speak, but that Rabbi Gurary was delivering his D’var Torah then.

According to Mr. Best, he asked to see the attendance list in order to determine whether all those present were legitimate N’tzigim—a matter which is in dispute with respect to a number of purported N’tzigim. Wice faction Recording Secretary Alexander Weisz had already called the roll, but his notes were not turned over to Mr. Best, who then announced that he would therefore call the roll himself. He began doing so, reading from a list of those his faction recognizes as legitimate N’tzigim.

Witnesses report that, from the time the Best group entered, shouting and arguments had broken out throughout the room. As Mr. Best attempted to call the roll, however, a heated shouting match ensued between Mr. Rubashkin, who repeatedly insisted he be quiet and wait his turn, and Mr. Best, who repeatedly responded that he was the chairman and would continue calling the roll. Finally, Mr. Rubashkin reached across the table, grabbed the paper from which Mr. Best was reading—which had lain in front of Mr. Best upon the table—crumpled it up, and put it into his pocket.

Rabbi Gurary continued to speak, although, when he commented that mesirah (turning a fellow Jew over to the secular authorities—in this context a clear reference to the ongoing civil case against Mr. Rubashkin) is a terrible thing, he was shouted down by the Best faction, which relies on a rabbinic ruling that the court case is not mesirah because Mr. Rubashkin had refused to respond to prior summonses to Beis Din. During the rabbi’s remarks, Mr. Rubashkin moved about the room, ending up on the other side of the table and standing to the immediate left of the seated Mr. Best. Mr. Best believes that Mr. Rubashkin took up that position immediately after snatching the membership list.

At that point, Mr. Best says, he was informed by the person who had compiled the membership list, and who said it contained information that he needed, that the list was in Mr. Rubashkin’s pocket, and he was urged to retrieve it. In an attempt to do so, Mr. Best put his hand into Mr. Rubashkin’s right pants pocket.

“I saw Mr. Best’s hand coming out of Moshe Rubashkin’s pocket,” said a witness. “Best’s fist was closed around what looked like money and a small piece of paper that seemed like a receipt of some kind. It wasn’t the list. Rubashkin’s hand was around Best’s fist, trying to open it and retrieve the contents. A brawl ensued.”

In particular, Mr. Rubashkin responded by shouting and striking Mr. Best in the face, breaking his eyeglasses in two.

To this point, the account is not seriously contested by anyone. What is in dispute, however, is this: Mr. Rubashkin claims that when Mr. Best thrust his hand into Mr. Rubashkin’s pants pocket, Mr. Best struck Mr. Rubashkin in a sensitive area of his anatomy. Mr. Best denies this.

Mr. Rubashkin characterizes the blows as his attempt to push Mr. Best away from him, and says he only struck Mr. Best one time—although Mr. Rubashkin concedes he may have “pushed” Mr. Best a few more times “on the shoulder.”

“I was taken by surprise and physically violated,” the Vaad HaKahal chairman said. “Anyone who feels another person’s hand suddenly thrust into their pants pocket would punch the guy out. All I did was to grab his glasses and yell, ‘Are you crazy? You’re using hands?’”

However, Mr. Best says he was struck four times: the first time in the forehead; then in the face, breaking his glasses; then in the left jaw, which Mr. Best said remained “kind of swollen” two days later; and finally, in the lower nose/upper mouth area, resulting, said Mr. Best, in a chipped tooth. At that point, those nearby were able to restrain Mr. Rubashkin and pull him away.

In the wake of the incident, police were called twice. Mr. Rubashkin says that although at first, a member of the Best faction urged that police not be called and the episode treated as a private matter, he then observed one of those present leave the room after a whispered conference with another Best supporter. Believing the person was about to call 911, Mr. Rubashkin dialed the 71st precinct directly and asked Sergeant Bobby Troise of Community Affairs to come to the scene. Immediately after Sergeant Troise arrived, uniformed officers did in fact respond to the 911 call. As it turned out, however, by that time both factions had agreed not to involve the police, and the officers, finding everything quiet, immediately left.

Despite the altercation, the meeting proceeded, although not without the usual screaming and arguing that frequently characterize N’tzigim meetings. In this case, the shouting went on unabated as arguments erupted over the fight; over who was properly authorized to call and chair the meeting; over who was or wasn’t really a Natzig; and over several other topics. Mr. Best, who remained at the meeting, continued his attempts to act as chair, while Benny Raskin, the Wice faction Vice Chairman, tried to carry out the stated purpose of the session by taking a vote on impeaching Mr. Nash.

Mr. Raskin made his way around the table, asking each Natzig whether he voted in favor of impeachment or against, and collecting signatures to confirm their votes. At least some Best faction n’tzigim, who took the position that the entire meeting was illegal, stated that since they had been asked, they were answering the question; but that they did not intend their response as a recognition of the legitimacy of the vote.

Another scuffle broke out when at least one Natzig became convinced that Mr. Best, who was approaching Mr. Raskin, was about to lunge at the latter and try to snatch the signatures from him. The Natzig therefore leapt up and extended his arms in a blocking gesture to keep Mr. Best away, and was joined by two or three others. Mr. Raskin managed to extricate himself from the fray and retired to Mr. Rubashkin’s kitchen to count the votes.

Mr. Best later stated, “I don’t remember Benny Raskin having a piece of paper. It was kind of an emotional night. I can’t confirm or deny [the allegation that Mr. Best intended to grab for the signatures], but I don’t think I would have done that.”

As Mr. Raskin sat ensconced in the kitchen and seemingly everyone else shouted uncontrollably, Mr. Best noticed Mr. Rubashkin standing alone. He approached him and proposed that the two of them try to work things out between themselves. Mr. Rubashkin opened a folding chair and sat down, and the two began talking. However, by that time, n’tzigim had begun leaving and someone called out that a minyan would be formed for maariv, at which point Mr. Best went to the amud and led the prayers. The meeting thus came to an end.

(In the days following, conflicting results of the impeachment vote were released. Mr. Rubashkin’s opponents, who do not recognize the legitimacy of the meeting in any event, claimed that after disregarding the votes of people they say are not authorized n’tzigim, 21 shuls were represented. Of these, they say, 11 voted to impeach and 10 voted against impeachment. Since the bylaws require a 2/3 majority for impeachment, the motion failed, according to this faction. However, Mr. Raskin certified on Wednesday that, by the Wice faction’s reckoning of which purported n’tzigim are legitimate, twenty five shuls were represented, with 17 in favor of impeachment, 3 against, and five abstentions. Thus, according to Mr. Raskin’s tally, the vote did pass by the required 2/3 majority.

The bylaws stipulate that after an impeachment vote, the matter must be brought before the Beis Din of Crown Heights. It is therefore unclear, even if Mr. Raskin’s count is the correct one, whether it will have any practical effect other than to add to the long list of disputed matters in Crown Heights, since the status of the Beis Din is itself in dispute.)

The day after the meeting, according to Mr. Rubashkin, he viewed (for the first time, he said) their website, which is virulently opposed to his policies. The site described the prior night’s events as a vicious and unprovoked attack by Mr. Rubashkin on Mr. Best; described Mr. Best’s injuries in the most serious way possible; and repeatedly asserted that Mr. Rubashkin was “headed to jail” as soon as Mr. Best formally filed charges. Mr. Rubashkin said he understood from the website that his opponents planned to have him arrested, and he said he needed to protect himself against what he viewed as unjustified charges. For that reason, the Vaad HaKahal chairman claimed, he called police first and filed a report that Mr. Best had struck him in the manner described above. Indeed, one hour after Mr. Rubashkin’s report, Mr. Best did file charges of his own.

Mr. Best said he or his supporters had consulted several Rabbonim about whether it was appropriate to file charges against Mr. Rubashkin. He said that the first rov asked declined to rule on the issue on the ground that he would be unable to be objective, since Mr. Rubashkin had wronged that rov in several ways. Another rov responded in a similar way, stating that Mr. Rubashkin had refused to recognize a summons to a Din Torah which that rov had issued. A third rov could not be reached at first. Finally, the question was put by one of Mr. Best’s supporters to a rov who had previously ruled that Mr. Rubashkin was not obligated to recognize the other rov’s summons. The question was phrased without disclosing the identities of the parties, and the rov reportedly ruled that it was definitely proper to file charges. Subsequently, in the same conversation, the rov asked for the identity of the person, and upon learning that it was Mr. Rubashkin, he reportedly said that Mr. Rubashkin should be called to a Din Torah instead. After that phone conversation, the third rov, who had not been reachable earlier, returned the call and was apprised of developments. That rov stated that once the other rov had issued his ruling, he could not go back on it after learning the identity of the party, and that, in his opinion, the rov’s original ruling permitting the filing of charges must stand.

On Wednesday, Detective Mike McDermott of the 71st Precinct Detective Squad spoke to each of the respective complainants. He said he had discussed the matter with Deputy Inspector Frank Vega, the 71st Precinct’s Commanding Officer, as well as with Sergeant Troise, who had responded to the scene after the incident, and that the police position was that the matter was actually an internal dispute among the Jewish community. The police were not willing to be used, said the detective, as leverage in favor of one side or the other, and that if the parties could not settle things on their own, they would both be arrested and a judge would ultimately sort out what had really happened.

Wednesday evening at approximately 7:30, Messrs. Rubashkin and Best met Detective McDermott at the precinct for a final attempt to resolve the matter amicably. At that meeting, Mr. Best told Mr. Rubashkin that he did not believe Mr. Rubashkin was a bad person, but that Mr. Rubashkin was running the Jewish Community Council/Vaad HaKahal in a bad way. Mr. Best said he was willing to drop his charges on two conditions: 1) the recent election for Rabbonim be voided and a new, fair, election be held in its place; and 2) Mr. Rubashkin resign from the Jewish Community Council/Vaad HaKahal.

Mr. Best then read a letter of resignation he had prepared for Mr. Rubashkin, in which the latter would inform the community of his resignation in a dignified and face-saving way. Mr. Best added that, if Mr. Rubashkin chose to accept the proposed deal, a new and substantive position would be created for him in which he would be placed in charge of the community’s chesed activities. Mr. Rubashkin asked for the letter to be typed up for his review, and said he wished to consider the matter privately. He then retired to a separate room with Detective McDermott and fellow Vaad HaKahal member Dr. Tzvi Lang.

After several minutes, the detective returned and informed Mr. Best, in apparent vexation, that a deal could not be reached and that, consequently, both parties were being arrested.

Mr. Rubashkin said he considered Mr. Best’s conditions nothing short of extortion and blackmail, and that he would not cave in to such demands. On the contrary, he said, he planned to use the photocopy of Mr. Best’s proposed letter of resignation as evidence to charge Mr. Best with those crimes. Mr. Best, on the other hand, said he believed Monday’s incident was a gift from heaven, in that it allowed the community’s issues with Mr. Rubashkin to be brought to a resolution immediately, since the civil case brought by Mr. Nash had been postponed until September 11th.

Mr. Best and Mr. Rubashkin were each treated with courtesy by the detectives, who allowed each to wait in a separate locked room while their paperwork was being processed, instead of in the precinct’s holding pen. At one point, however, since the precinct’s fingerprint machine had broken down, the two men had to be transported to the nearby Transit Division station on Franklin Avenue and Carroll Street, a trip which regulations required be made in handcuffs. The two community leaders were kept at Franklin Avenue for about an hour before being returned to the 71st precinct, where they were uncuffed and permitted to go back to the separate rooms. Finally, between 1:15 and 1:30 a.m., the two were issued Desk Appearance Tickets, or D.A.T.s—i.e., summonses to appear in court on a certain date—and released.

The hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on the morning of July 26th.


  • 1. a yid that loves the rebbes shechunah wrote:

    rabbi yankel schwei !

    i think they got the wrong guy
    without you here things would be so much better
    arent you sitting in your office so happy for what you caused in crown heights
    you should be ashamed of yourself

    how much more has to happen before you do something positive here

  • 2. a resident of the shchuna wrote:

    to tell you the truth, i didint even finish reading the article!we are sick of fights!

  • 5. a concerned member of the comunity wrote:

    this issom sad what6 happened to the comunity instead of dealing with issues of shvartses mugging vchu’ yheir having their stupid fights.
    it takes two to tangle so no one could blame it on the other.
    im sure the rebbe is very happy and shepping nachas that in honour of gimmelo tammuz chasidimor fighting with hands and going to court .ad mosai

  • 6. oy vey-ing in Crown Heights wrote:

    Now we know one of the ingredients of this plague (our plague) of our community’s children going off the derech r"l. Now we know why although many people are looking for homes and buying homes, that others are either fantacizing and/or talking practically about moving. Enough.
    I thank G-d that my husband has nothing to do with this. These dopes can have this tzurus. The rest of us can work to try to keep honest and caring and innocent people IN our community, which, as Shimshon has said, is a very icrucial and big job.
    SHAME SHAME… who fight carry responsibility of the youth in our community…..and more.Shame, Shame.

  • 7. FalseStart wrote:

    Is there any process that the whole CH government can be reset and we just start electing everyone from scratch?
    Maybe we can let go of history and start over again?
    It sounds like a "do-over" is in order.

  • 8. sam wrote:

    As a lubavitcher who lives outside of crownheights, it is heartbreaking that two frum jews cannot find an equal medium to resolve their issues. We are suffering enough , why go out of the way to openly cause machlokes and tzar in our community. Our Innocent children are dying because there is no ahavas yisroel in our surroundings. It would be good to "bury the hatchet"and try to get along and work out our differences, no matter how hard it may be. Lets set a good example for our children. Its Gimmel tammuz.

  • 9. Flatbusher wrote:

    I get my daily dose of humor reading about the Crown Heights community and all of their disfunction. You guys are great; keep it up!!

  • 10. Netzig wrote:

    can you pls ask mr raskin to give you the names of the shuls and netzigim present and how they voted?

  • 11. Itzik_s wrote:

    This is beyond ridiculous. ALL parties involved in this chilul Hashem must resign, and the whole election and Vaad Hakohol system must be overhauled. Moshe Rubashkin has indeed done much good for the community, but he cannot work within the Vaad Hakohol framework – and neither can his opponents. All of those involved must be barred from running for any community office for at least five years.

    This incident is just what the opponents of Chabad want to see. We are playing right into our enemies’ hands by not washing our hands of every single one of these baalei machloikes and changing the system, fast.

    Meanwhile, problems in the shchuna are growing. Something has to be done and fast while these unruly, immature physically grown-up boys play around with our neighborhood and our future.

  • 13. A rubashkin fan wrote:

    A very well written and it seems unbiased report. Basically it seems that there was an undignified physical struggle between two community leaders. The fact that Mr. best stayed on for over an hour in Mr. rubashkins house and then went on to daven for the omud in rubashkins house indicates to me no real damage was done to Mr. best ( or even his ego, if that was bruised he would have just left?!).
    It was only afterwards that Mr. bests handlers ( who are I suspect also rabbi schweis handlers) decided to use this as a means to get rid of rubashkin, giving him an ultimatum to quit his position and give control of the community to the other side. This is blackmail and is evil and I am begging rubashkin not to be cowered, not to give in, just stand up for us who do not have a voice but wish him well and are desperate for him to be successful in sorting out the problems of the beis din.
    By the way the pasak of the rov to take Mr. rubashkin to court was given after he heard the story only from a best supporter who interpreted the facts to swing to his favor

  • 14. rachmonos!!! wrote:

    it would be funny it if wasn’t so tragically sad!!! grown man acting like two year olds!!!

  • 15. outraged in CH wrote:

    FIirst mesira then extortion…dont give in to gangsters call ha Kavod Moshe

  • 16. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! wrote:

    CLOWN HEIGHTS! Get rid of them all. Turn the CHJCC over to the Met Council and let the now irrelevant Rabbonim (R. Odoba, R. Schwei, R. Heller) attempt to make themselves relevant.
    The sh’chuna is fed up with the Rubashkin-Lang-Plotkin-Sperlin-Brook-Krauss-Sandhaus-Boymelgreen-Drizin-Wice-Weiss nonsense. (Most of the guys I left out are too naive to understand what they are doing.)

  • 17. Tsubrochen wrote:

    Shem Zach.
    Is it a wonder why the younger yungeliet and kids have no respect for what is going on in this community?
    Everyone involved should resign. Clean house and start over with new people involved and get rid of the cronies and hangers on who cause all of this maclokes.
    Great Timimg right before gimmel tammuz. learn the ma’mer of V’ato Tezatveh and take it to heart.
    What would The Rebbe say to all of this! Ad Mosai??????

  • 18. dovid wrote:

    mr best should move out of ch hes ruining this place all in the name of yichi

  • 19. Glad I moved out of NY wrote:

    There’s something seriously wrong with some of the people in that town!

  • 20. Shalom Yisrael wrote:

    The Best contingent also swiped the original roll call from Mr. Weiscz in a very confrontional violent grab. Yasher koach to Mr. Weisc for remaining calm and for starting over again.

    The Best group wishes to give two people ultimate power; Rabbi Schvei in the beis din and Chanina Sperlin returned as chair of the CHJCC.

    If Best wants Rubashkin out, then the mainstreamers had better- if there is ever a deal–get the promise that Jacob Herzog, leibl Nash and Chanina are barred from ever serving on the CHJCC again.

  • 21. qq wrote:

    What was the result?

    "The hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on the morning of July 26th."

  • 24. Rivkah wrote:

    It seems that some people don’t know the seriousness of Loshon Horah, If I were you, I would not allow any comments on these painful subjects (subjects, which I would ask a rav if it is appropriate to publicize in the first place) which leads to loshon Hora. I don’t think you realize what a huge avaira it is to allow people to comment on things that only Hashem is the judge of. How can you want the responsibility of spreading lies, gossip, etc.? Very often the evaluations are false, and often start from people wanting power and trouble makers. Causing others to sin and in general talking negative about rabbonim, are terribly grave avairos.
    p.s. You don’t have to submit this if you don’t want to. Without the spreading of these painful incidents and the ability to comment publicly on these matters, things will get better.
    p.s.s. I recently found out about this website and enjoy the kosher information and pictures tremendously especially since I live out of town, but I may have to stop logging in, due to the shmutz and innapropriate comments.

  • 26. 21st century suffragette wrote:

    To Webby:

    Thank you for printing this article. Now we at least know what’s going on.

    To Mr. Wagshall:

    This is great reporting: clear, unemotional, & unbiased.

    To Messrs. Best & Rubashkin:

    WHY DON’T YOU BOTH GROW UP??? Your families must be so ashamed of your antics. So are we, living in a community run by clowns.

    I personally don’t care who is right or wrong. I do care about how stupid we all, by "association", look to the rest of the city & to other Jewish communities.

    Crown Heights has no credibility with government. Is it surprising? We don’t get any funding for programs, there haven’t been any improvements in the quality of our lives. Poor people are still poor, our Yeshivas are a mess, and the cost of housing is ridiculous.

    Yet all you men care about is your pathetic egos & power. Mesera isn’t an issue, is it?

    Isn’t it about time women had some say in how this community is run on a secular level? We’d do a better job. Of course, you men, including Nash, Chanina et al, would NEVER allow it. Shanda!!

    Both of you should resign & never be allowed to hold any kind of office again. You do far more harm than good.

  • 27. interestingchillumhashem wrote:

    and stay tuned to the sequel coming to a theater near you!

  • 28. sam wrote:

    Its very interesting that people are arguing about something that there were over 25 witneses present and reportadly a VIDEO!!!

    Milso D’avidi Ligluiy

  • 29. TRM wrote:

    While I have always admired the Chronicle for being unbiased.

    The article was written for next week, so a line that best is still hurting two days later… when its still only the next day…

  • 30. a shlucha wrote:

    I do not know all the issues but please go to a kosher neutral zabla to settle theissues. We have the extreme yechiniks on one hand and the corrupt self-made heads of Merkaz—-is this what the Rebbe worked his whole life for? If you preach about Moshiach and fight like that it’s worthless. Get your priorities straight! Why should we want to send our children to Crown Heights??????????

  • 32. children wrote:

    Why do we need such a long and rambling article about the juvenile exploits of a few middle aged children?

    Why do we never see so much space devoted to good news?

  • 34. levi wrote:

    its about time someone told the truth the story saying both sides

  • 35. crazy beyond wrote:

    you are making a BIG Chillul Hashem. you dont have to involve the people of the community. Make Peace in Crown Heights! Now we need Moshiach to stop these politics

  • 36. shcneur wrote:

    moshe rubashkin i know you ask yourself the famous question why do bad things happen to good people

    may hashem give you the koach to get through this and to be able to give alot more tzedaka and chessed then you already do

    hatzlocho rabah

  • 37. yitzchok wrote:

    yes with all the respect rabbi shvei started all the machlokos even if he thinks he’s right and is doing a good job and is going to fix the community problems this is now how to do it

    not by going out and writing letters against another rov in public no place has this even when the rabbonim don’t agree

    rabbi marloe osdobo and heller didnt always get along but they never came out with a letter like rabbi shvei did

    hes is wrong in what he did here and now that rubashkin is trying to make peace nothing else hes not looking for a penny hes the biggest baal tzedaka and everyone says what does that ahev to do
    bec it shows hes not doing it for money he gives he does not take.

    he made peace with simchas beis hasheva did everyone forget that? did he do that for money? he did it bec he hates fighting and wants peace

    im just a yungerman here and its sick how rabbi shvei is letting these people rule him over like this and tell him what to do and what to sign

    remember its not rubashkin that did all this it was shvei i hope one day he will wake up and do the right thing and make peace its up to schvei nobody else

    remember its gimmel tammuz ofen velt
    time to do teshuvah and stop the horror thats going on in this community

  • 40. Informed wrote:

    That other website that is anti-Rubashkin is pure propoganda learned directly from the old Soviet playbook, filled with distortions, half truths, innuendos, and outright lies. No one with half a brain could believe that website is a credible source of information.

    One who has lived in CH for many years can not help notice that there are certain names that are always in the epicenter of CH machlokes. Names like Brook, Katzman, Z. Shagalov, Nash, Sperlin, Slavin, and others including naive dupes like Best. The same individuals who have been creating machlokes from the early days of the long sad Fischer saga are the same ones causing it today. And they use the exact same modus operandi of slander, mesira, and getting Rabbonim to be their puppets, only this time R. Osdoba is no longer in their pockets, it is R. Schwei they now use as a weapon instead. These individuals somehow believe that CH leadership positions belong only to them. For decades they have thwarted any and all attempts to keep them from pulling the strings.

    When will this kehila wake up and figure out that the entire community has been getting manipulated and conned by the same few rotten apples?

    Funny how R. Osdoba has switched sides. He is now on Rubashkin’s side and Rub. made peace with Fischer whom R. Osdoba warred against for over 20 years. During the Fischer war R. Osdoba claimed that the CHCC was justified in bringing Fischer to goyishe court because he refused to appear before a Beis Din. In reality, Fischer refused to appear before R. Osdoba’s Beis Din because he knew they were not going to be fair, that they were ready to make him guilty even before hearing all the evidence. Fischer wanted a zablah, but R. Osdoba said he could not have a zablah and put a niduy on Fischer. Now it is R. Osdoba who wants a zabla, so logic dictates he should put a niduy on himself.

    Meanwhile, R. Osodoba’s Beis Din failed in bringing any peace or conclusion to the Fischer case which resulted in 25 years of court case, draining the community of funds and fostering hate and divisiveness.

    And now it is a new era, and along comes a well meaning but flawed guy named Moshe Rubashkin. He makes peace with Fischer. How? Fischer threatened to take the CHCC to court and sue them for ‘malicious litigation’, for all those years of court cases the CHCC filed against him (not a single one of them did the CHCC win). If Fischer had done that, the CHCC would have almost cetinaly lost costing them tens of millions of dollars, so Rubashkin wasn’t a fool and did the right thing by making peace. Fishcer accepted that peace and withdrew the lawsuit, showing once again that he is not the one motivated by greed, but actually wants shalom and justice.

    Meanwhile, Rubashkin co-opted R. Osdoba, and is trying to get rid of the old guard of rotten apples, is trying to make the CHCC into an entity that actually serves the community, for the first time in recent history, we have someone in there who cares and wants to to what is right, but the old guard of rotten bad apples won’t have it. ANd so they continue to slander, go to court, and to divide and try to conquer

  • 41. Chosid wrote:

    We need an impartial non-Lubavitcher Beis Din, not involved in all this garbage, (and there are plenty of non-corrupt non-Lubavitcher Rabbonim) to rule on Rabbonim, Netzigim, elections, etc. This is the only way Crown Heights will have any hope of surviving. Otherwise, this will alienate the youth and cause the destruction of the shchuna hoya loi sihiya.

  • 43. Yossy wrote:

    It is a pitty, "a beutiful dugma" for our children, and in this way our netziguim and rabonim want to get any respect?
    I think that in so many years, after someone like Rubashkin that really did and do something for the community and I’am 29 years in CH, should be arrested?
    I pray that this people who take Yden to court shoul get what they deserve! Forgot that you have children? Don’t go sleep without sayin viduy!!

  • 45. why????? wrote:

    ok….. heres some twisted sick fantasy dreamed up in the nightmares of th shach world….or..wait!….can it just be crown heightd’s dayly routine??????

    What the blank is going on???? I had a group of people ask me if they should go to C.H. for gimmul tammuz. My heart tore. What do i tell them?? I want with all my heart to go, yet at the same spot of the most holy ausome light, is the darkest blackness i’ve ever seen!


    What is happening to the once great, loved, and respected home of te Rebbe?? How is such darkness allowed even clode to the hearts and minds of our community leaders?

    No wonder this blacknes is eating at the youth of C.H., no wonder the golden path of the rebbe is dark, and burnt out. And no wonder so maney dear pracious souls lose thaire way, and struggle to free themselves of this horifing curse

  • 46. Moishy Goldstein wrote:

    The whole Crown Heights is turning into one big Nebach place.

    I read an ad in the Chronicle tha their opening a "new crown heights" in brooklyn!
    Anybody knows about it?

  • 47. concerned CHer wrote:

    I think it’s amazing that Moshe Rubashkin:
    1) allowed Yisroel Best into his home at all
    2) did not throw him out when he bull-dozed his way into
    taking over the chairing of the meeting
    3) actually agreed to listen to and consider the proposal
    which would cause him to resign if accepted

    I believe that the above shows tremendous restraint on Mr. Rubashkin’s part, which can only have come about as a result of his sincere desire to see sholom in our shechuna.

    It’s even more amazing to me that despite all that has occurred so few people recognise this.

  • 48. SZ wrote:

    I"m reading this wondering if it’s Purim in Tammuz and thinking this has got to be made up but of course it isn’t.

    What a chillul Hashem from everyone involved.

  • 49. Michoel wrote:

    Rabbi Schvei is controlled by Knauss and the discredited Jacob Herzog. Herzog was put back in the Netzigim by SB Drizin. Drizin also allegedly funds the gabboim lawsuit at 770. Convince Drizin to back off and you cut off the illness at it’s core. No Herzog,, no machloches. Don’t forget- Herzog pushed Sperlin to challenge Gross for CHJCC chair. He was censured by Rabbi Osdoba and suspended by the Reitzes netzigim. Too bad, in retrospect, he was not impeached.

  • 50. Shlomo wrote:

    Michoel, you are getting to the core: community people not involved–Noochie Gross, Yankel Goldstein, Sam Malamed, Michoel Chazan, Prof. Bush, Devorah Halberstam, Yisroel Shemtov, Sheya Hecht–they should all tell Shalom B. Drizin that he is funding, fueling, much of this by placing people like Sandhaus, M.M. Shneerson, and Jacob Herzog in this machloches. His shul, Agudath Israel on Crown replaced a regular netzig with Herzog so Herzog would be a vote against Rubashkin, despite a year earlier Drizin gave Moshe Rubashkin thousands of dollars for needy yungerleit at Pesach.

    Most of the Rubashkin supporters on the Netzigim are normal people sick of the Chelm in Clown Heights we have. Some of them actually assist elected officials with constituent problems, like Lipkind and Wice, and others also have real parnossah. It just strikes me that the Best crowd (and boy, did an otherwise really nice guy ever get duped into this Netzigim nonsense by Sandhaus and Herzog- it’s mamesh crazy for him) do not have jobs and seem to spend the days into the early morning hours cooking up nairishkeit. You think it’s sunny and warm? They’ll tell you it’s dark and raining.

    This is Gimmel Tammuz. Let’s give the Rebbe a real gift and end this nonsense. Get to SB Drizin and explain to him the truth. Or to his smart likeable sons, Moshe and Zev. Cut off the Herzogs. Give Rubashkin and his forward thinking netzigim a chance. Those guys don;t sit around and consipire all day how to make things worse.

  • 52. Obvious wrote:

    Honestly, I think its time that everyone left Crown Heights. There is no point in continuining to live enclosed in an environment that is a) not condusive to material and economic success and b) is now no longer condusive to spiritual benefit.

    There is no Rebbe present to police these people, no rabonim of stature willing to stand up impartially. The children continue to be ‘inspired’ by the adults in the community: the innapropriate dress, the shaved and trimmed beards, the fighting, the mesirah, plaques and corner stones etc etc.

    Perhaps it is time people realized that it is time to move on and out. Steam needs to be let out of the kettle. It took someone of the Rebbes stature and strength to keep CH and lubavitchers in line. This is the elephant standing front in center in the room here…

  • 53. Shmulik Heber wrote:

    To the self proclaimed "Shlucha" who asks why she should send her children to Crown Heights.

    Who ever asked you to send your children here?

    Don’t do anyone any favors by sending your children to an already overcrowded school system.

    Why do you think that you are entitled to some sort of special treatment in Crown Heights being that YOU decided that you are some sort of "Shlucha" ?

  • 54. Rabbi Heber wrote:

    To the people out there who are not sure if they should even bother coming to Crown Heights for Gimel Tamuz, here is what I have to say to you….


  • 55. stay away from c.h. politicks wrote:

    close the vad hakol for one year and lets see if it becoms peacful

  • 56. ChabadSupportorThru&Thru wrote:

    INFORMED wrote very well and truth be told has been told…but everyone knows that Moishe is really one good guy.

    In the end,,the reightous will prevail…..the youth will fall into place too. Many are into building a great future for themselves and theire families. You know whom you are. ANd there are many. The one that mentioned a new Crown Heights has his/her head in the sand. Although it is really tough and downright shameful the crap going on…those that know…are aware of the brocho of Crown heights overall and will and do see thru all the smutzh. Such people like you and I are successful and looking at evryone in the dust.

    Those that understand great, and you know who you are…keep it up, and you’ll continue to reap the brocho of cRown Heights.

  • 57. shlucha in california wrote:

    lShlucha in California reminds: Firstly, it is our Rebbe who has said countless times regarding Crown Heights that "kan tzivah Hashem es habrocha". We may have our imperfections, yet the community is a blessed one. Any true chossid can attest to the Rebbes words as the truth. Secondly, since when do Yidden tattle on one another to the goyim or take one another to court? The Torah which is everlasting forbids this for obvious reasons. Llet us put the past behind and use our energy and talents to hasten the coming of Moshiach Tzidkeinu!!

  • 58. Milhouse wrote:

    <blockquote>Isn’t it about time women had some say in how this community is run on a secular level? We’d do a better job. Of course, you men, including Nash, Chanina et al, would NEVER allow it. Shanda!!</blockquote> That’s the best proposal yet. It’s bizarre that in the 21st century there is a community that ignores half its talent, and bars women from voting and participating in the community board. Isn’t it their community too?

    And if there were a few women on the board, maybe the men would have the busha to keep their violence and their language in check. I don’t think the level of nonsense reported here would happen in mixed company. Far from a decrease in tznius and kedusha, I think it would cause a great improvement.

    And that’s quite beside the fact that it’s poshut not right that they’re excluded and not represented.

  • 59. What love! wrote:

    MY, MY! The Rebbe indeed is alive and well in Crown Heights! The love for fellow Jews is utterly overwhelming! When your gentile neighbors come to wipe you out again I’m sure that loving Lubvatchers will be hand them the stones to throw at the other loving Lubavitchers. This overwhelming love completely overpowers all the other petty issues like Moshiach, Geulah, chinuch and all that other chasidische nonsense. Yasher ko’ach, Rabbis, for clearing the air.

  • 60. totally depressed wrote:

    Shmulik Heber is so right. So is everyone who begs for peace. Unfortunately begging doesn’t seem to be working cos it just makes these dangerous "leaders" worse. They must like the thrill it gives to have everyone kiss their feet & "beg" them to make Sholom. Oh, the power! the glory!

    How many of the turkeys will show up @ the Ohel in the next couple of days? What brachos can any of us expect with all this happening?

    It’s not a surprise that people here are depressed, disillusioned, & ready to quit.

    Don’t the guys responsible care about any of us? How do they get away with it all? Why do we let them get away with it? where are our impartial Rabbonim?

    G-d help us all.

  • 61. peace now! wrote:

    The only comment i agree to is Rivkah’s comment.
    every time the rebbe had to mention something at a farbrengen about a correction in the community he would say that nobody should go and talk about it afterwards. the loshon hora that goes on with these comments wont help the situation at all but only causes harm.
    thanks alot for the great info in general.

  • 62. ACTION wrote:

    Im glad everyone is adding their comments and saying CH has to shape up but nobody is doing anything about it! why dont all the normal ppl in this community get up and do something to stop this once and for all??? every time there is a mugging or something in ch everyone says its because of the crazy situation in ch- everyone speaks and speaks and speaks but nobody does anything!

  • 63. fairness wrote:

    very good webby just keep putting only pro rubashkin comments. Are you affraid of something?

  • 64. sholom wrote:

    Moshe Rubashkin you are a good man . you gave so much Tzedoko in your life. PLEASE be fair with the SHECHUNA . by YIDDEN(jews) when thre is a disegreement we tryto setele,if we can’t we go to a DIN TORAH .if you claim the RAV is bias againts you , we go to a ZABLO a ZABLO is not bias. the beth din of ZABLO will settelle the dissagrement and if you do not want to go to a ZABLO you want to force you way. look your self what had happend only because you did not go to a ZABLO. where was that heard that a bes din called you and you do not aswer to the summonts of beth din????? Pease Moshe make a end to machlekos by going to DIN TORA .. we are in PARCASE KORACHlook what happened from machlokes. I hope HASHEM will help us we should only have SHOLOM AL YISROEL

  • 65. worried about this community wrote:

    one thing I’m sorry about is that we on the outside of these pathetic politics, is that THEY are fighting, and the rest of those who are not fighting are free to find an honest, decent life where there is space to do emesdike expression of mitzvos and Torah life. Fighting in this sick, silly, goofy way is not Torah, even if they feel that they are the right ones.
    How utterly dopey.

  • 66. rl wrote:

    i really wounder what Hashem is thinking and what the Rebbe would say…

  • 67. Sam who used to live in CH wrote:

    Can someone please convince me to be proud to wear a kapote – tell me why I should call myself Lubavitch? I have already left crown heights, – and frankly I am sick a tired of being forced to defend myself for appearing to be aLubavitcher Chossid. NOthing that was around 10 years ago hold true anymore – Shluchim are seperate entities, there is not mainframe – nowhere to really feel that we are based anywhere. It is all a farce! Noone who is honest with them selves understands what they are living for – how long can you be ut ut? There is a lack of community leadership resonsiblity and accountability. I have serious doubts about remaining in a group that has no foundation – and I mean no respect to the rebbeaim – but what now?

  • 68. nomore vaad hakholl wrote:

    who needs the vad hakhol what have they done to help the average resident/if anyone wants to have ‘sholem’in the community dissolve the machlokus-institution called vad hakhol.’

  • 69. ENOUGH ALREADY wrote:

    To put it bluntly. Rabbi Schwei has been the center of the whole machlokos. He is surrounded by a group of people who have a gripe against rabbi Osodba (who the rebbe said about him-He is Abir Sheabirim)
    These guys namely Zalman Shagolov, Yaakov Herzog, Yisroel Sandhause, Mendel Schneerson, Mendy Hendel , Shmuel Krauss Sholom ber Drizen and Don Yoel Levy have decided they will destroy the Beis Din and the vaad Hakohol.

    They are using Rabbi Scwei to give out the most hateful letters all in the name of Sholom and the Rebbe.

    It is time the community stand up and tell Rabbi Schwei to reign in the gansters and either make peace with Rabbi Osdoba or leave the Beis Din.
    He is making a mockery of everything the Rebbe stands for, what we have invested in this community.
    He is mainly to be blamed for all the problems we have here and R"L we have tragedies. STOP NOW no one is inetersted in your personal agendas.
    Stop telling people that the hashgocho of the beis Din is no good. You are saying we as a community are all eating treif.
    Rabbi Schwei stop stop stop. You are destrying the youth. The kids couldnt care less any longer all thanks to your new sort of terrorism

  • 70. to mr. INFORMED wrote:

    you are so distorted. Rabbi Osdoba’s and the Beis Din’s position remained the same as by fisher. they do not agree with zablo. it is schwei who is arguing zablo just like fisher did.

  • 71. a shlucha wrote:

    To ShmulikHeber: I find your comments extremely insulting. a)i’m not a "self-made "shlucha b) many of us live in places with either no chinuch or where our young children have no frum children play with c) we want to send our children to crown heights and to come ourselves to get inspiration- not to see fighting and politics…..Why are you so angry at what I said?

  • 72. menachem uk wrote:

    millhouse has a very good point,

    my zaida told me that once you reach 40 thats middlife you start going down hill, i never believd it until now,

  • 73. To Netzig wrote:

    The following shuls voted “Yes”:

    Ahavas Achim
    (Empire Shteibel)

    Bais Levi Yitzchok
    (Machon Chana)

    Bais Menachem M.
    (770 Lefferts)

    Bais Shmuel

    CH Yeshiva
    (Bais Rivka)

    Chevra Shas
    (Gurary’s Shul)

    Chovevay Torah

    Eliyahu Nochum
    (Leffert Shul)

    Frankel Shul

    Hadar Hatorah

    Kol Yisroel

    Menachem Nochum
    (Slavin’s Shul)

    Mishkan Menachem

    Rayim Ahuvim

    Reb Getzel’s Shul

    Torah Utefilah
    (Shain’s Shul)

    Yeshiva Reines

    The following shuls voted “No”:

    Congregation 935
    (935 Eastern Pkwy) *


    Khal Chassidim
    (Baumgarten’s Shul)

    The following shuls abstained:

    Agudas Yisroel

    Anshe Rubashov
    (Gelertner’s Shul)

    Bris Shalom
    (Best’s Shul)

    Ksav Sofer

    Ner Menachem

    The following three shuls were not represented:

    Congregation Lubavitch “770” **

    Ahavas Moshe
    (Maple St. Shul) ***

    Bais Binyomin
    (Viznitz) ****

    * The vote of “no” from the primary n’tzig from Congregation 935 (935 Eastern Parkway) was counted. This was despite the fact that two witnesses – one of them the alternate n’tzig – from that Shul testified at the meeting that the consensus of the Shul was to vote “yes”.

    ** “770” was not represented as their n’tzig was instructed by the Gaboyim that he may not represent “770” at any meetings related to the Rabbonim dispute. This is in accordance with an agreement reached between the Gaboyim and R’ Sholem Ber Drizin that 770’s n’tzig remain neutral for any issues related to the Rabbonim dispute.

    *** Ahavas Moshe (Maple St.) requested they not be represented. Their n’tzig removed himself from the meeting after receiving instructions to leave.

    **** The n’tzig from Bais Binyomin (Viznitz) was unable to attend as he was out of town.

  • 74. CHer wrote:

    Moshe Rubashkin is elected by the people for the people. Anyone else who needs the glory, go home and rule your own homes.
    Is Chanina behind all this trouble? He still can’t get past that his mommy can’t buy him the position of Yoshev Rosh?

  • 75. How Sad wrote:

    How sad it is to see Rabbi Schwei walking down the street and everyone looks at him as the main cause of the machlokos in Crown Heights.

    It is sad that he really thinks he is doing the Rebbe’s work. The Rebbe was mosar nefesh for Crown Heights and the beis Din. With one swipe of his pen Rabbi Schwei is destroying the Rebbes work

  • 77. Notzig of peace wrote:

    Paltrac why are hiding the video you took without permission??, all the evidence vindicating the honest is in
    that video so what do and your cronies have to hide.

  • 78. DONT LIKE DRIZIN wrote:

    first of all since when is agudas yisroel "drizins shul" they dont want him there. the only reason the deal with him is out of rachmonos.
    now while i agree with whom ever said that rabbi osdoba was a puppet(and probobly still is 4 some ppl)however mabey he is finaly doing the right thine for the schunah.

  • 79. Crown Heights Chronicle wrote:

    Dear False Start,

    See the editorial in this week’s Crown Heights Chronicle.

  • 80. sad CH resident wrote:

    "kan tzivah Hashem es habrocha" depends on "Hinei mah tov U’mah naim Shevet achim gam yachad"

  • 81. meir wrote:

    as long as qualified people refuse to involve themselves in the community then you will have this contiued madness. ari chritik, moshe drizen, jose frummerman and others are more than able to run c.h. "the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing!"

  • 82. menachem uk wrote:

    to the rabonim

    when a lay man dose somthing wrong(against hallocho) he or his family has to pay the price to g’d, when the rabonim do somthing against the hallocho the kahilla pays the price with life,PLEASE LETS NOT FORGET THE TRAGEDY OF THE KELLER BOCHUR AND MANY OTHERS,
    wich is most definatly down to the rabonim who are not folowing the torah

  • 83. A Bucher from Iowa wrote:

    STOP IT ALREADY!!!!!!!
    why does there have to be fieghts?!

  • 84. still confused in CH wrote:

    Attention to netzig

    What’s with the Yes & No voting? What are you talking about. What did these Shuls vote for/against?

    What happened to 770 Montgomery Street? Has everyone forgotten about that one?

    hold on a minute. It’s FISHER’S SHUL!! But Harvey Lang davens there!!

    Gee, I guess it’s OK to pray with the enemy when it suits you.


  • 85. FloridaLubav wrote:


    Get a LIFE! I live out of CH too and have no problem with anyone. Eceryone respects Chabad by and large.

    Every sect/group has its issues.

    I suggest you look within and figure out what is really bugging you.

    That said I’d move back in a flash but business calls for out of town living.

  • 86. Shliach from afar wrote:

    I am at the wonderful Amercan Friends of Lubavitch "Living Legacy" conference in Washington where shluchim–the real voice and face of Lubavitch–could not care less about the idiocy taking place in Crown Heights. Look, CH is World Headquarters for shluchim, Merkos, Kehos, and has the historic 770 (no, not the gabboim place the the loony banners, but where we have the Rebbe and Friediker Rebbe’s legacy). But it’s the shluchim that keep Lubavitch growing.

    The Gabboim, Netzigim, Vaad HaKahal–they are all local neighborhood things. They are not representative of Lubavitch. I am proud to see Ambassadors, White House staff, Senators and Congressmen, and national officials see shluchim from over half the states and 40 nations in washington. Lubavitch is not Sperlin, Hertzog, or really even Rubashkin. They are community people. The Shemtovs have truly brought together Lubavitch in a way to make the Rebbe proud. To those of you in Crown Heights, go out on shlichus, or get of wasting time on the local politics.

  • 87. Happy in Crown Heights wrote:

    Who said??? Do not add your own qualifiers
    sad CH resident wrote:

    "kan tzivah Hashem es habrocha" depends on "Hinei mah tov U’mah naim Shevet achim gam yachad"

  • 88. sad CH resident wrote:

    Happy in Crown Heights wrote:

    Who said??? Do not add your own qualifiers

    Who said? David HaMelech.

  • 89. meir wrote:

    yes women should run the community. they’re more level headed at this point and better disposed to understand the issues confronting the community. you could keep the vaad of men but have the women decide which issues to be dealt with. a vaad that checks the vaad if you will. of course this idea will never be the community i live in in israel, that is exactly what happened. after the men were unable to run the community the women joined in sharing power, and you know what? it worked. the women actually saved my community from disaster.perhaps it’s time for c.h. re-think it’s politics.

  • 90. turning to the shluchim wrote:

    Shaliach has a point. Unfortunatly wiuth rabbi Schwei in the Beris Din he has destroyed one of mosdos which the rebbe put kochos then any other mosod. i.e. The Beis Din.

    BH the inhabitants of Crwon heights do plenty of shlichus, helping the shluchim from around the world not only financially but assisting helping with their baalei batim when they visit CH.

    We beg all the shluchim to stand up and demand that rabbi Schwei resign. He is the core of our problems.

  • 91. yachad wrote:

    Actually both Right "kan tzivah Hashem es habrocha" depends on "Hinei mah tov U’mah naim Shevet achim gam yachad The Brocha is more when there is lacking of "Hinei mah tov U’mah naim Shevet achim gam yachad"
    Happy in Crown Heights wrote:
    Who said??? Do not add your own qualifiers

    sad CH resident wrote:
    "kan tzivah Hashem es habrocha" depends on "Hinei mah tov U’mah naim Shevet achim gam yachad"

  • 92. grateful out of towner wrote:

    How many of us out of towners are welcomed into the homes of Crown Heights? Where do we find such gracious hospitality on so large a scale? Which mosdos accept our children with open arms? Enough Crown Heights bashing!! And by the way, "Kan Tzivah Hashem es Habrocha" is the Rebbes description of Crown Heights. A true chossid takes our Rebbes words at face value. Are you a believer or not??

  • 93. informed wrote:

    ‘you are so distorted. Rabbi Osdoba’s and the Beis Din’s position remained the same as by fisher. they do not agree with zablo. it is schwei who is arguing zablo just like fisher did.’

    No, the above commentator got it wrong. R. Osdoba called R. Schwei to a zabla. How come a zabla is okay for him and not for Fischer? Double standard? Maybe cause if R. Osdoba had had a zabla with Fischer then R. Osdoba would have lost? But he thinks he can win against R. Schwei so a zabla is then okay? No consistency here.

    R. Osdoba is always someone’s puppet. Anyone recall Ahava milk? Used to be Brook’s puppet against Fischer, now he is Rubashkin’s puppet against R. Schwei. Just put money in his pocket and point him in any direction and the puppet’s strings are pulled. And that is why Brook, Katzman, Shagalov, & co. are so very angry at R. Osdoba–for switiching sides and getting a new puppet master.

  • 94. Itzik_s wrote:

    THat is exactly the thing – these jokers do not represent us. Some may have tried to in the past but at this point it is a mess on all sides.

    So, it is time to clean up the whole situation and start afresh.


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