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Yankel Rosenbaum and The Crown Heights Riots

His gr-grandparents and grandfather were from Szczuczyn

[Note]: Yankel Rozenbaum's great-grandparents married in Szczuczyn, and his grandfather was born there before the family emigrated to Australia. He comes from a very long line of Rozenbaum's in Szczuczyn, and with related cousins in Radzilow. If you are a Rozenbaum from Szczuczyn or Radzilow, please contact me to figure out how you are related.

The Crown Heights riot was a race riot that took place from August 19 to 21, 1991, in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York City. Black residents turned against Orthodox Jewish Chabad residents, resulting in a deterioration of already tense racial relations in the densely populated community. The riots began on August 19, 1991, after two children of Guyanese immigrants were accidentally struck by a car running a red light while following the motorcade of Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the leader of Chabad, a Jewish religious movement. One child died and the second was severely injured.

In the wake of the fatal accident, some black youths attacked several Jews on the street, seriously injuring several and fatally injuring an Orthodox Jewish student from Australia. Two weeks after the riot, a non-Jewish man was killed by a group of black men; some believed that the victim had been mistaken for a Jew. The riots were a major issue in the 1993 mayoral race, contributing to the defeat of Mayor David Dinkins, an African American. He was blamed for an ineffective police response.

Ultimately, black and Jewish leaders developed an outreach program between their communities to help calm and possibly improve racial relations in Crown Heights over the next decade.[1]

Yankel Rosenbaum Killing

About three hours after the riots began, early on the morning of August 20, a group of approximately 20 young black men surrounded Yankel Rosenbaum, a 29-year-old Jewish University of Melbourne student in the United States conducting research for his doctorate. They stabbed him several times in the back and beat him severely, fracturing his skull. Before being taken to the hospital, Rosenbaum identified 16-year-old Lemrick Nelson Jr. as his assailant in a line-up shown to him by the police.[3] Rosenbaum died later that night because the doctor didn't notice a stab wound in his chest. Nelson was charged with murder as an adult;[23] he was acquitted at trial. Later he was convicted in federal court of violating Rosenbaum's civil rights and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Nelson eventually admitted that he had stabbed Rosenbaum.[24][25]


1. "Beep Honor Peace Coalition: Crown Heights leaders reflect on 10-year milestone"[permanent dead link], New York Daily News, August 23, 2001.

24. Gourevitch, Philip (January 1993). "The Crown Heights Riot & Its Aftermath". The Jewish Forward. Archived from the original on December 5, 2013.

25. Newman, Andy (August 21, 2003). "Penalty in Crown Hts. Case Means a Little More Jail Time". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 8, 2009. Retrieved March 3, 2009.

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