Call for Help as Criminal Case Against Crown Heights Shomrim Goes to Trial


shomrimOne calamity after another has befallen the Chabad community at large. Young lives have been taken, Jews are facing prosecution, and others already sit in prison.  Most Crown Heights residents wave their hands dismissively when the case against six Shomrim members is brought up. “It’s just politics,” they say.

Despite the fact that these are fellow Jews, the young men standing trial today are also the volunteers who altruistically aid the community daily, in countless ways. It would be commendable of the community to now actively take a stand for fellow Jews and give support to those who have been on-call 24/7 to serve others.

It is no longer merely politics. The case, which until now many have been dismissive of, has reached and crossed the threshold of trial by jury. Six Shomrim volunteers are facing years of real jail time if convicted.

“This is no longer politics,” says Aron Hershkop, a Shomrim coordinator. “This is now a Pidyon Shvuim matter, and we need the community’s help.”

In a prepared statement, Shomrim said that while serving the community for more than a decade, they requested no monetary contributions, yet with the trial just one day away, they are now looking to the community for support.

A statement by Shomrim:

For over 15 years, Shomrim, under its current leadership, has been gladly helping the Crown Heights community – from assisting a crime victim in filing a police report, to helping someone with a flat tire – without ever once asking for anything in return.

Unfortunately, the situation has changed and six of our volunteers are facing serious criminal charges stemming from an incident in which they were called for assistance.

Each of the six volunteers has a lawyer and the costs of going to trial are too great for them to be able to individually bear. Tens of thousands of dollars have already been spent, and with the trial just one day away, we ask for the community we so generously help to return that kindness and help us cover our costs.

Various Rabbonim including Rabbis Schwei, Osdoba and Segal,have expressed support verbally, while Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky has written the following letter:

7 Mar Chesvhan, 5770
October 26, 2009

To kindhearted brethren of Klal Yisrorel; Sheyichyu

Greetings and blessing,

Torah rule dictates that Jewish people should bring their disputes, arguments and grievances against a fellow Jew to a Beis Din. Going to the civil court system is a heinous iniquity and a blatant contemptuous behavior against Torah.

Unfortunately, due to the laxity of some in this regard, a group of people are now in court defending themselves against a possible seven year incarceration and a lawsuit of 150 million dollars, G-d forbid.

These men are family heads who have altruistically given much time for the enhancement of the security and wellbeing of the Crown Heights neighborhood.

While there are good chances, IY”H, that they will be vindicated, nevertheless, large sums of money have already been expended for their defense and much more is immediately needed.

This is a bona-fide case of PIDYOM SHEVUYIM which is one of the most prominent forms of tzedoko.

I urge you to extend your benevolent generosity to this most worthy cause and well-deserving members of K’lal Yisroel,

May we speedily witness the elevating of the Torah banner and the ultimate redemption. With profuse advance thanks and blessings to merit Divine rewards, I remain,

Sincerely Yours,
Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky

Court will be reconvening today, when jury selection will begin, followed by the trial, in which the District Attorney will be presenting their case to the court in hopes of securing a conviction.

For those who would like to attend the trial proceedings and show support, you are welcome to. The trial is taking place at 320 Jay Street, which is the New York State Supreme Court, on the second floor in the Ceremonial 1 court room, starting at 10:00am today.

Contributions can be mailed to Shomrim office at: 537 East New York Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 11225, or you can call the Shomrim hotline (718) 774-3333 after 6:00pm and a member will be sent to pick up your contribution. You may also contribute by Credit Card at the Shomrim Defense Fund website by clicking here.

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  1. In this situation Matzav did not do the required research into the situation. These six were charged with a violent crime against their fellow Jew. Violent behavior/abuse can ONLY be dealt with through the legal system. This is not a situation of “Mesirah” it’s violence that needs to be prosecuted. Otherwise, Ish Es Re’eihu Chaim Belahu.

  2. #2 WROTE: Violent behavior/abuse can ONLY be dealt with through the legal system. This is not a situation of “Mesirah” it’s violence that needs to be prosecuted.



  3. could somebody be so kind and inform what the charges are for. what they are being accused of.Otherewise the entire story doesnt make sense.

  4. #5:

    Since Bais Din has ZERO enforcement or punitive power over CRIMINAL activity, there is NO mesirah. The criminal is a RODEF, especially when violence/abuse is involved.

  5. #5, you are dillusional. shame on us for wanting this man put behind bars? shame on YOU for protecting criminals with your BS. put him away so he can feel the same pain that the bocher feels. the one that he punched in the face with a lead filled leather glove. people should be advocating for the victims, not the other way around. get your head on straight #5!

  6. and the fact that he even owns a lead glove says so much about who he is and what he’s all about. violence. anger. and abuse. lock him up and throw away the key.

  7. To all the readers, community members, and commentators on this site,

    I would like to clarify several facts to all of you:

    1. The Shomrim members charged in this case were the aggressors, and caught on video beating bochurim to a bloody pulp.

    2. The bochurim were sent to the hospital with broken arms, a fractured skull, a concussion, broken teeth and badly bruised and bloodied by the Shomrim thugs who were at the scene.

    3. The Shomrim members at the scene after beating the bochurim were the ones who filed criminal charges and had two bochurim arrested that night. (bochurim were also thrown in jail and went thru lengthy and costly trials previously when Shomrim members pressed criminal charges against them)

    4. The bochurim were advised initially not to talk to the police for fear of getting the Shomrim members locked up, and worse, for fear of a second beating by the Shomrim members.

    5. Once Shomrim brought the police into this fight, the bochurim were forced to defend themselves again, and tell the police of the incident.

    6. A clear video obtained by the police clearly shows the bochurim asking the Shomrim members to leave the building, and the Shomrim members refusing and actually aggressively forcing their way into the apartment of question.

    7. A Shomrim member with a lead laced gloves cracked the skull of one bochur with his fists, and beat others to a pulp. This is bono fide and clear to anyone that sees the video.

    8. Over the course of the last two years or so that this incident had started, the Shomrim members were given the opportunity to settle this issue out of the courts of NY. With the following request:
    1. Apologize to the bochurim
    2. Remove their hate filled site that bashmutzis the community.
    3. Refrain from any further fighting, arguing, and antagonizing members of the community.
    By doing the above the Shomrim members are clearly showing they have no interest in fighting with the bochurim or dispensing any further vile and disgusting hate filled stories on the internet.

    9. The above offer was delivered to the Shomrim coordinators and the hershkophs through, the rabbanim, the heads of hatzalah, the vaad hakahol, and many other community leaders, even the police offered to settle this issue.

    10. The Shomrim members refused every person who presented their offer to them to have this issue settled and resolved once and for all.

    11. The district attorney even offered to settle this issue by offering a plea of a violation (which is not even a criminal record) and the hershkops refused!

    12. All this fighting can end once and for all if only the Shomrim members want to end it. You can continue with your pleas for money, and support. But it is only a band aid on a serious problem that will continue to escalate if it is not attended too and settled.

    I challenge anyone reading this to have the offer i stated above accepted, and you will see a genuine settlement, and the case settled. but if they (the Shomrim members) refuse to apologize, and continue to assault threaten and harass the bochurim and continue to post disgusting hate filled lies on their website, then please don’t blame others for their actions and even more, their intent.

    Any cries for pidyon shevuim money, coming from the Shomrim members are fake and are one big scam, they say they need money to for lawyers to defend themselves, well their mob boss refused to hire real lawyers for his boys, only free legal aid public defenders, I find this peculiar since his father runs around telling everyone that his son is a millionaire that made millions in real estate, so why can’t he hire some real lawyers for his henchmen and pay for mess he created????

    Now five Shomrim members were offered a plea deal by the DA that would leave them no criminal record but only with a violation and no jail time they all wanted to accept it, knowing full well that it is a gift, considering what they had done to these poor bochurim, but gangster Gadi Hershkop told them if the DA doesn’t offer him the same offer they dare not accept the offer because if he end up in jail they too must go there with him, now that is a true leader.

  8. all th epeople here are a bunch of mishichist propaganda! shomrim did nothing to these violent hoodlums who embarras the rebbe at every oppertunity! search on for the real story! oh and about the shomrim blog they write, u can get a very accurate picture of the people who run that blog if u read another blog. go to see it read know it, information is power!

  9. This message is for the silly comment made by number 11. There was no video nor picture, not one that shows bloody pulp or violence or disrespect to any bocher…
    this is all I will say and not waste another minute on you.

  10. This is Shomrim…

    All those comments above, well, guess whos writing those.

    Ill tell you. The people whom are behind this viscous Mesira/ blood liable.

    Look how low they have gone, to justifying their bad behavior.

    By the way, even if bais din cant do anything, YOU from your part (the alleged victim, must have permission from a Bais Din to go to police/court.

  11. Shomrim Members were Gang Assaulted while Settling a Dispute

    CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn [CHI] — A number of Shomrim members responding to a call were ambushed and gang assaulted. The incident took place earlier tonight, Motzoai Shabbos, when Shomrim got the call about a dispute inside 749 Eastern Parkway, members arrived on scene and began sorting out the incident when a large gang converged on the room and trapped the members inside.

    As the situation began getting out of hand Shomrim members called for backup and for police assistance. The crowd then started throwing punches and assaulting the members.

    When police officers arrived on scene, they began sorting out who’s who and moving everyone out of the premises. As officers were preparing to leave a second fight broke out where three Bochurim attacked a Shomrim member who went back in to find his glasses and yarmulke, the commotion was heard outside and officers ran back into the building and witnessed a Bochur standing over the member, who was laying on the floor, with a fire extinguisher trying to hit the member with it. Following what the officers had witnessed they arrested the two Bochurim and locked them up, there were no other arrests made.

    A number of Shomrim members were treated on scene for scratches and bruises, but were B”H not seriously injured.

    The gang of Bochurim, who are known as the ‘Tzfatim’, are notorious for their terror tactics, most recently their assault on a member of the community, Reb Yitzy Vail, a handyman who was doing work for the Gabboim inside 770, was viciously assaulted and his entire tool box stolen. As if that was not enough, the next day they stole his clothing from the Mikva with all his possessions including his wallet and keys, leaving him naked without any means of getting a change of clothes.

    Another Mikva goer had pity on him and went to his house and got him a change of clothes. The gang then threatened Reb Vail and told him the only way he will get his possessions back is if he promises not to press charges against them.

    These terror tactics were employed here against an Israeli Bochur, whom they tried to evict from his room. The Bochur called family members of his to come help him out when they were assaulted and called Shomrim.

  12. As they say, the proof is in the pudding.
    I watched the video in court today.
    Not only did it not show the shomrim beating tzfatim up,
    but they were being beaten!

    Why believe me?

    Don’t! Come to court anytime at 320 Jay St, Ceremonial Room 1.
    From 10am to 5pm.

    You’ll see what I saw!!!

    Don’t listen to propaganda, not even mine.
    Come for yourselves and you’ll see that all these people want is the $144 million dollars.