Thousands Gather for Brooklyn Boy's Funeral

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thousands of Hasidic Jews flocked to Borough Park Wednesday night for the funeral of Leiby Kletzky, the 8-year-old boy who was found dead and dismembered on Wednesday morning.

The funeral followed an intense community effort to find the boy who disappeared while walking home from school for the first time on Monday. Kletzky's remains were found in the apartment of a man who lives in Kensington, Brooklyn. The man is in police custody and has made incriminating statements.

"For such a tragic end it's really unthinkable," said Charlie Gold, who was among those up two nights frantically searching for the boy. "It's a really tragic moment for the family, for the whole community, and for every human being."

Many of the mourners traveled from the city's other Jewish enclaves to attend the funeral. A young mother of three named Sarah, who did not want to give her last name, came from Coney Island and said the entire Hasidic community was in shock.

"And now everyone's here for comfort and to be united and to just pay our respect to this boy, and his family," said Sarah.

Sarah said that the gruesome incident is raising concerns in the close-knit and quiet community. "Now what, now what, what are we doing with our grandchildren, and our friends' children, do we let them go out alone, we've never had this our community."


More in:

Comments [9]

William from Denver CO

My heart goes out to the orthodox community in New York, especially to the parents and family of Leiby Kletzky. I cry with you over this tragic loss. In my heart I feel a clarion call in this to return to eretz Israel. I visited NYC last August, and while there I felt that Jews' time here in the west was limited to only five more years, before all make aliyah. Now I see this tradedy in light of that trip. May HaShem be with you all, and stir your hearts to seek Him in these things.

Jul. 15 2011 04:05 PM
Page613 from New York City

Kudos to Roz for saying exactly what I've been saying for the past 10 years. Orthodox children are taught to trust ONLY their own kind...the boogyman is secular, any color, any nationality (take your pick). Time to wake up and educate the Orthodox...

Jul. 15 2011 02:13 PM

I am sad to read a couple of the comments above that choose to respond to the news of this tragedy to air their bias or gripes about a particular community, and by extension, to blame the victim.
Why is it acceptable for WNYC to report details of the Weiner sexting scandal, which is sordid and silly, but not about a horrific tragedy that has the whole city, and nation, reeling?
I didn't hear Fred using the word "holy", and after murders have happened in many different kinds of communities, comments such as "We are shocked that this happened in our community" are quite common and cliched. Furthermore, the streets of Borough Park are relatively safe, though of course, that should not lull any of us into a sense of complacency.
Roz's assumptions about how this boy, and as an extension, probably any Hasidic child, would assume that a religious Jewish guy was sure to be a safe bet seems to paint the community with a broad brush.
As a mother in the community, I can assure you, that we are much more sophisticated than that.

Jul. 14 2011 11:09 PM
vlaz from Milford

This is a singular horrible event. Please stop politicizing it. We need to mourn the loss and comfort the traumatized.

Jul. 14 2011 05:57 PM
stuart from nyc

i'm an orthodox jew in nyc, and i've seen a lot of back and forth comments from various people about this story.

we are all human first, and this is a tragedy on a human level. it's not a jewish tragedy, not a new york tragedy, just a horrible tragedy. we all have the ability to feel for and mourn for the boy's family and his community, no matter where they live and who they are.

Jul. 14 2011 02:40 PM
Sheri Stein

I was unusually disturbed by yesterday evening's reporting of this awful story. It goes without saying that the horrid details about this tragic event were repeated far far too often--unusally so for WNYC. But more bizarre to me, the coverage made me think Jews were a newly discovered group. The reporter described the Orthodox community as "praying to their (emphasis on their) God." Why not "praying to God"? I thought there was a general understanding that whether or not one believes in Jesus (or any God), the basic concept of God as depicted in the bible is the same for the world's monotheistic religions. On the other hand, I was also disturbed when Amy Eddings asked something about if the community was shocked when they found out that the alleged perpetrator was "a Jew," as opposed to an Orthodox Jew or a member of this particular orthodox community. My guess is that this child, for whom we all mourn, would not have trusted a secular Jew dressed in clothes that did not indicate his religion.

Jul. 14 2011 11:35 AM
Tracy from Brooklyn

As I listened to the commentary this morning I found myself unnerved by the coverage. It seemed biased and focused too heavily on the grieving community and not our grieving city. The other comments on this story have helped to galvanize for me additional reasons I found myself annoyed. There continues to be an feeling that the Orthodox Jewish community can do no wrong rather than realizing that the community is just as vulnerable to wrongdoers, often from within, as any other group in this great city of ours.

Jul. 14 2011 10:50 AM

I agree with Roz' comments above. I was surprised how clearly biases Fred's comments were today. If the Orthodox are religious because they pray 3 times a day, then Muslims would be even more religious but they are consistently labeled as violent. I also don't understand why Fred felt compelled to mention the Catholic Church when the questions of whether or not child sex abuse was a part of this case and in the orthodox community. He sounds more like a politician than a reporter advocating on the virtues of this community. Shame on him is right.

Jul. 14 2011 09:58 AM
Roz from Kensington, Brooklyn

I cannot adequately express my frustration at how, in their on-air reporting of the tragic killing of Leiby Kletzky, WNYC reporters repeat the nonsense that the Orthodox Jewish community is somehow typically “safe” and “holy” and immune from violence. The Orthodox community—has at very least—its own fair share of domestic abuse, rape and child sex abuse. The insularity of the community keeps these phenomena under the radar and off the police blotters, but anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of that community knows they exist. Indeed, had Leiby Kletzky not been living in such an insular world, his mother might have taught him that the safest person to approach when you are lost is a woman with children. Had he gone to a black woman with kids for help, a Latina, Indian or Pakistani woman—any of the many women he would have loathed and feared—he would be alive today. Yet WNYC seems happy to perpetuate the ethnocentric tripe that not only helped lead to this boy’s death, but shields from view the abuse of so many women and children on a daily basis. All I can think of to say is--shame on you

Jul. 14 2011 09:36 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.


Latest Newscast




WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public


Supported by