Some Background: 1996, before the brake off, on the advice from a Williamsburg Shomrim Coordinator who pointed out that “Shmira’ is for dead people“, the Shmira organization changed it’s name to Shomrim.
January 1999, as a result of a robbery on a Gemach in Canada(read all about that by clicking here), a vote was held and a member was thrown out of the Shomrim organization. Yanky Prager a thug decided with some others that they will brake off from Shomrim and bring the ‘Shmira’ back to life. This brake-off was an opportunity for Chanina Sperlin to have a so called “patrol” under his wings in-order to funnel government grants his way, without anybody questioning about ‘where the money for the people is?”‘.
This is when the members of the new organization calling itself ‘Shmira’ became everything that Shomrim did not want to become…The ‘Shmira’ became the henchmen or ‘Sheriffs’ and Mossrim of the Vaad. Currently (following a Mossers tradition), the shmira mesira has joined the ranks of NYPD by joining the COP program giving them more opportunities for Mesira.
This letter was written before the brake-off.
April 30, 1997
About two and a half months ago Shomrim gave out a letter stating that the Vaad Hakahal took away money that we raised from the community, for “their own personal use”. Shomrim would like to make it clear that they were not using this money, but were withholding it in the hope of closing Shomrim down. We would also like to take this opportunity to tell you about the incidents leading to the withholding of our money and to update you on the situation between Shomrim and the Vaad Hakahal.
Several months ago there was an argument between a member of Shomrim and a member of the Vaad Hakahal. This was a personal argument that had nothing to do with either organization. The Vaad Hakahal, however, decided that this dispute should involve all of the Shomrim, even though we pointed out that this was only between two people. The argument was soon blown out of proportions.
We were trying to sit down with the Vaad Hakahal to discuss this from the beginning. Only after four weeks did they finally agree to talk with us. Things at this point were very tense between the two organizations. The Vaad Hakahal had already taken away Shomrim’s money and changed the lock on the Crown Heights Community Council, our base of operations.
Shomrim sat with the Vaad Hakahal for nine hours. The only outcome of this meeting was that the Vaad Hakahal wanted us to become the “sheriffs” of Crown Heights. They wanted us to investigate all “terrorist acts”. They also wanted us to go to the police even if there was a problem between two Jews. We informed them that Shomrim are here to protect the Jews of Crown Heights, not to מוסר [Mosser/Inform], on them.
After this meeting the Vaad Hakahal hired a company to shut down our repeater. A repeater allows Shomrim units to speak to each other on their radios. Without it our radios would not transmit and there would be no communication between units during serious Shomrim calls. That could lead to a very dangerous situation.
Another way that the Vaad Hakahal struck at Shomrim was their resolve of the situation that occurred on May 9th. On that day, as you may know, Yoske Prus and another Shomrim unit were arrested during a call. Baruch Bush, a member of the Vaad Hakahal, was called that night at nine o’clock and said in answer to the request for help, “I am too tired for this garbage.” Also, the Vaad Hakahal promised to pay all the lawyers’ fees after they were arrested. When the case ended, however, they said they had already paid the fees and anything that was left over was not going to be paid by them because the case was over. This was said even after the Vaad Hakahal told Yoske Prus lawyer that they would pay everything in full. To make matters even worse, the lawyer stated, “This is Lubavitch? This is fruma yiddin that say they are going to pay and don’t?” The Chillul Hashem that the Vaad Hakahal has caused is unspeakable.
As yet the bill remains unpaid. After years of service to this community, Yoske Prus, a man with a wife and children who ran on calls day and night, was thrown to the dogs by the Vaad Hakahal even though he had nothing to do with the initial argument. Now Yoske Prus is being forced to borrow from Private people to pay the lawyer’s fees. The only thing he has done “wrong” was protect this community. Does he deserve to be treated this way?
The greatest blow from the Vaad Hakahal to date deals with a grant that the government gives every year through the Vaad Hakahal, for the sole purpose of Shomrim’s use. Since 1991 the New York State Government has given a grant to the Shomrim for $17,000 a year, which to date totals $119,000. Not only did Shomrim not receive this money but we did not even know that this grant existed until a friend in Albany asked us if we were spending the money for good purposes. When Shomrim discovered this in 1994 we confronted the Vaad Hakahal and began receiving $10,000 a year. When we inquired about the other $7,000 we were told that it went to the Vaad Hakahal for “filing the papers”. Shomrim had no choice but to let them keep the money because we were told that if we protested we wouldn’t even get the $10,000.
Now, the $17,000 for 1997 was received by the Vaad Hakahal and “diverted” by them. Shomrim did not receive one penny of the grant meant for us to buy equipment (i.e. radios) and pay for the phone line that you call for emergencies. To date there is $89,000 that Shomrim has not received from the Vaad Hakahal. Without this money or the money we raised from the community that is being withheld by the Vaad Hakahal, Shomrim cannot function. We cannot have the Vaad Hakahal fighting us while we are trying to protect the community.
Remember that we are there when you need us. Please be there for us on May 18, 1997 when you vote for the Vaad Hakahal.
Crown Heights Shomrim
For Original Letter Click Here: Flash Back April 30, 1997: Letter From Shomrim To Community
WIS needs your help Regarding:
“About two and a half months ago Shomrim gave out a letter stating that the Vaad Hakahal took away money that we raised from the community”…
I know this is a long shot, but if any of you might still have the letter being refereed above, please scan and send to: firstname.lastname@example.org. It is very important that letter makes it’s way here. Thanking you in advance, WIS.