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!
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • 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.