Crown Heights Panel Scrapped After Sharpton Backs Out

By Forward Staff

Published August 18, 2011.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Rev. Al Sharpton backed out of a panel discussion on the relationship between blacks and Jews after the brother of Yankel Rosenbaum objected to his presence, and organizers then scrapped the event.

Sharpton told Rabbi Marc Schneier, who organized the panel set for this Sunday in the Hamptons, that he did not want to participate at a time so close to the 20th anniversary of the Crown Heights riots in which Yankel Rosenbaum was killed.

Sharpton said in a two-page letter that he wanted to respect the Rosenbaum family’s wishes.

“Since the event has now been distorted and would cause pain to (Rosenbaum), I, out of respect to his request, have decided to decline to participate in Sunday’s event,” Sharpton concluded.

“Clearly, the Al Sharpton of 2011 is not the Al Sharpton of 1991.”

Schneier said he “regretted” Sharpton’s decision and postponed the event indefinitely.

“Dialogue is especially important on matters of profound disagreement,” Schneier said in announcing the decision.

Norman Rosenbaum cheered the decision through a spokesman.

The brother earlier blasted Sharpton’s planned appearance on a four-person panel titled “State of Black-Jewish Relations: Twenty Years after Crown Heights” Sunday event at the Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach, N.Y.

“Rabbi Marc Schneier should take a damn good, hard look at the videos of the riots over the three-day period, look at the media reports and he’ll see there clearly the role Al Sharpton played,” Norman Rosenbaum, Yankel’s brother, told reporters in New York on Wednesday, WINS-1010 reported.

The riots started after Gavin Cato, a 7-year-old black child, was struck and killed by a car in the motorcade of the Lubavitcher rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Scheerson, in August 1991. Rosenbaum, who was visiting from Australia, was fatally stabbed later that night.

Sharpton was accused of fueling the three days of riots with his actions and remarks. He led a protest march of hundreds shouting “No justice, no peace” through the streets of Crown Heights to the Lubavitcher movement’s world headquarters.

After the riots had subsided, at Cato’s funeral, he referred to the neighborhood’s Chasidic Jews as “diamond merchants.”

With JTA






Find us on Facebook!
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • 13 Israeli soldiers die in Gaza — the deadliest day for the IDF in decades. So much for 'precision' strikes and easy exit strategies.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.