Jewish Brothers Stand Trial for Teen Beating

Case Has Eerie Parallels to Trayvon Martin Shooting

By Forward Staff

Published April 23, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The trial of two Orthodox Jewish brothers accused beating a black teenager will begin today in Baltimore. This case is widely being compared to the Trayvon Martin shooting.

According to prosecutors, Eliyahu Werdesheim, 24, and Avi Werdesheim, 21, were patrolling their heavily Orthodox neighborhood in November 2010, when they surrounded a 15-year-old boy, pushed him to the ground, searched him and hit him in the head with a hand-held radio. The teenager was later treated for a broken wrist and a head laceration.

The brothers say they acted in self defense, and that the teen was carrying a piece of wood. They face up to 13 years in prison, if they are convicted of the three charges against them: second-degree assault, false imprisonment and carrying a deadly weapon. The deadly weapon in this case is the hand-held radio.

A civil suit filed by the teen’s family names a third person, Ronald Rosenbluth, as having been involved in the attack, according to the Associated Press. But police say that they don’t believe that Rosenbluth participated in the beating, and he does not face charges.

At the time of the incident, Eliyahu Werdesheim was serving as a member of the Shomrim of Baltimore, a neighborhood watch organization that patrols the city’s Jewish neighborhoods. He has since been suspended from that organization. Avi Werdesheim was not a member of that group.

The trial begins as tremendous media attention focuses on the Trayvon Martin case, in which a neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman, faces second-degree murder charges in the shooting death of 17-year-old Martin in Sanford, Fla.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • 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.