Matthew Karelefsky has been recognized as the person accused of arson and tried homicide after police say he set a hearth in Brooklyn focusing on a rabbi he held a lethal grudge towards. The four-alarm fireplace burned three houses on Thursday, June 13, and injured 13 individuals, together with a child, authorities in New York say.
Karelefsky, a 41-year-old former trainer from McKeesport, Pennsylvania, who additionally goes by the identify Menachem Karelefsky, has a tattoo on his arm studying, “By no means let go of the HATRED — KILL Rabbi Max.” Rabbi Jonathan Max lives in one of many houses burned within the fireplace, the New York Occasions experiences. He was not injured.
Karelefsky had lengthy expressed hatred for the rabbi on-line, together with on social media pages and Jewish web sites. He accused the rabbi of sexual abuse — with none proof — in obvious anger over private dealings with Max. “He’s been making threats towards Rabbi Max for years,” a good friend mentioned. “As a final resort, he instructed a good friend that he was gonna unfold false rumors that he was molested by him. They’re fully false.”
Right here’s what it’s essential to learn about Matthew Karelefsky:
1. Firefighters Battled the Huge Blaze, Which Despatched 9 Residents & Four First Responders to the Hospital, for Three Hours Earlier than Getting the Hearth Beneath Management
The hearth was reported about Four a.m. on Thursday, June 13, within the Midwood part of Brooklyn, authorities mentioned. The blaze started at Rabbi Jonathan Max’s dwelling and unfold to 2 neighboring homes. Firefighters battled the blaze for greater than three hours earlier than getting it beneath management.
9 residents, together with a 10-month-old child, have been hospitalized, however none suffered severe or life-threatening accidents. Three firefighters and an emergency medical employee have been additionally hospitalized.
Greater than 170 firefighters and medics responded to the four-alarm fireplace, in accordance with CBS New York.
Investigators instructed WPIX-TV that surveillance video was key to figuring out the hearth was deliberately set. The video from the East 17th Avenue neighborhood confirmed the hearth ignite and a person working from the scene seconds later.
“When one thing like this occurs, it places much more lives in danger just because there are much more individuals round,” neighbor Ian Strock instructed WABC-TV.
2. Karelefsky Says He Needed to ‘Diminish Jonathan Max & His Reminiscence From the Face of the Earth, Perpetually’
Karelefsky wrote about Rabbi Jonathan Max on his Linkedin profile, “PLEASE PUBLICIZE.. “FRUM” pediphile Rabbi Jonathan Max of Yeshivah Chaim Berlin for more information.” He requested individuals to name him with data.
In response to The New York Occasions, the outgoing voicemail message on the quantity listed by Karelefsky on his Linkedin profile says, in Hebrew, that he desires to “diminish Jonathan Max and his reminiscence from the face of the earth, endlessly.”
A neighbor instructed the New York Day by day Information that he noticed Karelefsky strolling round their neighborhood in search of Rabbi Max within the days earlier than the hearth.
Max’s 49-year-old son, Ezra Max, instructed the Day by day Information that Karelefsky is a “psychopath,” including, “He has a historical past of claiming very unusual issues. He mentioned he was going to make an try on my dad’s life. He’s a sick particular person who wants assist.”
3. He Stated He Transformed to Christianity & Has Grow to be ‘the Greatest Orthodox Jew Hater’
Karelefsky lived in Brooklyn till 2007, when he moved to the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, space. He has lived there since then. On numerous social media accounts and feedback on web sites focused towards Jewish audiences, Karelefsky has written about changing to Christianity and his anger with Jewish communities he was beforehand part of.
He wrote in January 2019, “I’ll say this…One of many MAIN explanation why I began exploring the choice to depart Judaism is bec ( at first) Chaim Berlin pressured my kids to go to secular research… … And now I’m the BIGGEST ORTHODOX JEW HATER …And , if my children weren’t pressured to go to secular research , I’d nonetheless be frum and love Jewish individuals…PS, I ALSO ( even then) was a giant fan of Rabbi Slifkin and the ban on Rabbi Sklifkin is likely one of the BIGGEST explanation why I left Judaism.”
He blamed Rabbi Jonathan Max for pushing him out of the Jewish religion and made unfounded accusations of sexual assault towards him on a number of pages.
“I’m writing to to the frum world to elucidate why I left Yiddishkite and transformed to Christianity.. I used to be in an Ohel group dwelling years in the past ( I used to be in foster care too)…..Ohel put me in Yeshiva Chaim Berlin … I turned frum in Chaim Berlin and stayed frum for 20 years,” he wrote in February 2019. “I simply need to let all frum jews know….The explanation why I left Yiddishkite and transformed to Christianity is as a result of for years I used to be sexually molested by rabbi Jonathan Max YEMACH SHMO FOREVER within the Yeshhiva Chaim Berlin dormitory …The ache was simply an excessive amount of to deal with… Now I’m therapeutic in church virtually each Sunday….Actual unhappy story…Maintain minor kids away from Rabbi Jonathan Max!!”
Shimon Gifter, who lives in Midwood, instructed the Day by day Information, “He lives in Pittsburgh, however individuals noticed him across the neighborhood yesterday. He was asking individuals the place Rabbi Max is, ‘I need to kill him.’ However individuals didn’t consider him. He’s been saying stuff like that for 10 years. He mentioned to me, ‘I would like him to drop useless.’”
4. Karelefsky Says on Linkedin He Is a ‘Full-Time Dad to My Youngsters’ & Was a Hebrew Instructor
On one other Linkedin profile, Menachem Karelefsky describes himself as a “full time dad to my children.” It’s not clear when the web page was created.
Karelefsky additionally says he labored as a rebbi-teacher at Mesivta Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin from 2002 to 2007. He wrote that his job was, “Educating Hebrew topics to a category of scholars with numerous spiritual
backgrounds and studying skills.”
He labored from 2006 to 2007 as a studying group trainer at Otsar Household Companies in Brooklyn, New York, “instructing Jewish research to a gaggle of developmentally disabled adults.” And from 2005 to 2006, he mentioned he labored as a res-hab trainer at Particular Look after Households & Youngsters, additionally in Brooklyn, “Educating Jewish research and primary life abilities to kids with particular wants.”
From 2004 to 2005, he was a Hebrew college trainer at Madison Jewish Middle in Brooklyn. He additionally labored at Younger Israel of Mosholu Parkway and Elm Shade Bungalow Colony. He mentioned he studied “Talmud, Chumash, Halacha, Gemorah,” at Mesvita Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin from 1992 to 2007.
5. He Is Being Held in Jail Awaiting His Arraignment & Has Prior Arrests in Pennsylvania on Assault & Making Terroristic Threats in a Case Involving Rabbi Max
Matthew Karelefsky was arrested after an investigation by the NYPD. He’s being held with out bail pending his arraignment on fees that embrace tried homicide and arson.
Karelefsky was twice arrested in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, the place he lives, lately. In August 2010, he was charged with easy assault. The case was later withdrawn. He was then charged in 2017 with felony use of a communication facility, a felony, and making terroristic threats. The fees in that case have been ultimately dismissed. Additional particulars about these instances weren’t instantly out there.
In response to Matzav.com, the threatening case concerned emails despatched to Rabbi Jonathan Max, who was the goal of the alleged arson.
It’s not clear if Karelefsky has employed an lawyer who might converse on his behalf and he couldn’t be reached for remark by Heavy. Rabbi Jonathan Max might additionally not be reached for remark by Heavy.
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