The Crown Heights section of Brooklyn (Borough of New York City) contains a large orthodox jewish population.
The Crown Heights section of Brooklyn (Borough of New York City) contains a large orthodox jewish population. There have been sharp conflicts between these people and the negroes of the neighbouring Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, a Negro ghetto resembling Harlem. Jewish children have been beaten when Negros attacked a Yeshiva class. There has been an increasing incidence of crime-- robberies, rape, etc. In order to protest themselves, the jewish community organised a vigilante group, under the direction of Rabbi Samuel Schrage. They call themselves Maccabbees, after the warriors of ancient Israel.
The Maccabbees operate nightly patrols in radio equipped cars (the radios donated by a cab company). The patrols, guided from a headquarters in a former store, patrol the streets of Crown Heights between 6pm and 8am. The two men in the cars are armed only with flashlights. If they spot trouble, they radio in and the headquarters calls the police. Or they all the police themselves. Many residents have cheered the organization, but Negroes in nearby Bedford-Stuyvesant are critical.