Skip To Content
Breaking News

Man Arrested In Hit-And-Run That Injured Long Island Rabbi

(JTA) — Police arrested a New York man and charged him with a hit-and-run accident that seriously injured an elderly rabbi.

Rabbi Jordan Kelemer, 71, is the long-time rabbi of the Young Israel of West Hempstead on Long Island.

He was hit in December while crossing the street in front of the synagogue; the driver fled without stopping. A passerby found the rabbi and called police. Kelemer suffered a severe head injury in the accident, but has returned to work in the synagogue.

Benitez Rodolfo, 46, of Far Rockaway, New York was arrested Friday and charged with leaving the scene of an accident and tampering with physical evidence, according to Nassau County police.  He pleaded not guilty at First District Court in Hempstead on Saturday, Newsday reported.

Police do not believe the rabbi was targeted by the driver. The accident reportedly was captured on the synagogue’s surveillance camera, though the license plate numbers were not clearly visible.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.