The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish synagogue organization, today expressed a mixture of relief and frustration upon the conviction of Lemrick Nelson who was found guilty of violating the rights of Yankel Rosenbaum by fatally stabbing him in August, 1991. Betty Ehrenberg, Director of International and Communal Affairs, said, “Today’s conviction brings a mixed sense of relief and frustration to the family of Yankel Rosenbaum and to the Jewish community. What happened to Yankel Rosenbaum during the Crown Heights riots of 1991 was a vicious crime that occurred only because Yankel Rosenbaum was a Jew. The fact that this case has gone through three trials has been a source of anguish for every law-abiding citizen. We are profoundly disappointed that the jury did not hold Nelson directly responsible for the death. Nelson clearly murdered Yankel Rosenbaum in an act of racism and anti-Semitism.
“In the years since the riots, dialogue and communication have substantially increased between the black and Chassidic communities in Crown Heights. We hope that these efforts to bridge differences and to foster mutual understanding will continue to grow in order to pay honor to the memory of Yankel Rosenbaum and to teach that the only correct course for the people of New York is to work together for peaceful co-existence among all the diverse communities of our city.
“May the memory of Yankel Rosenbaum, z”l, be for a blessing to his family and to all those who believe in justice.”