FIRST ON PIX: Bleach thrown in face of rabbi who writes about sex abuse in Williamsburg’s Orthodox Jewish community

Posted at 2:49 PM, Dec 11, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-11 21:12:35-05

(Brooklyn, New York) — A Brooklyn rabbi who writes a blog about sex abuse within the insular, Orthodox Jewish community of Williamsburg told PIX 11 he had bleach thrown in his face by another Hasidic man Tuesday.

Rabbi Nachum Rosenberg told PIX11 he was walking down Roebling Street, when a man with a beard and black coat ran across from a fish store and confronted him.

“He takes a full cup of bleach and he spilled it onto me. Half of my face is burned, and my left eye, I can’t see right out of it. I see everything very faded.”

The attack happened one day after a jury convicted a prominent Satmar Hasidic man, Nechemya Weberman, of repeatedly molesting a student in the community, starting when she was just 12 years old. Weberman, an unlicensed counselor, faces up to 117 years in prison, when he’s sentenced next month.  Many Hasidic men in the community raised money for his defense.

The trial exposed secrets about the alleged Satmar Hasidic “modesty squads” that allegedly raid the homes of girls and families that don’t follow the strict rules of the Hasidic community.

Rosenberg told detectives from Brooklyn’s 90th Precinct he was attacked by a relative of the fish store owner on Roebling Street.  After the conviction of Nechemya Weberman, Rosenberg wrote on his blog the fish store owner would be the next man arrested by police, writing cheekily the man should get his bags packed.  When PIX 11 went inside the store Tuesday afternoon, no owner was present, just several workers who said they didn’t speak English.

Detectives took Rosenberg’s black jacket and pants—typical of those worn by Satmar Hasidic men—as forensic evidence in the case.  The rabbi left the hospital wearing scrubs, because his clothing was taken by the police.  Rosenberg’s son dropped him off at the 90th Precinct, where he was expected to view line-ups of potential suspects.


Rabbi Nachum Rosenberg during a 2010 interview with PIX11 News. (January 20, 2010)