Long Island, NY - Popular West Hempstead Rabbi Seriously Injured In Hit And Run Accident
Long Island, NY - The spiritual leader of a Long Island synagogue is in the hospital, a victim of a hit and run accident that took place Monday night.
Rabbi Yehuda Kelemer was attempting to cross Hempstead Avenue in front of the Young Israel of West Hempstead at 7:35 PM when he was struck by a southbound pickup truck.
The Nassau County Police Department described the truck as a white Dodge Ram, with a possible model year of the early 2000s and likely front end damage on the driver’s side of the vehicle.
The driver of the pickup left the scene of the accident and the 70 year old Rabbi Kelemer was found by a passerby. He was transported by Hatzolah to a local hospital where he is listed in serious but stable condition.
Head of the Young Israel of West Hempstead since 1983, Rabbi Kelemer was a chavrusa of Rav Mordechai Gifter and received his semicha from Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz. He began his career in the rabbinate in Switzerland and then moved on to Massachusetts where he served as rabbi at the Young Israel of Brookline. A well known figure in the world of kashrus, Rabbi Kelemer is also well known as a posek.
“I was told to reach out to him 15 years ago when I became a volunteer fireman,” Moshe Stareshefsky of Passaic told VIN News. “He is the posek for many of the frum volunteer firemen on Long Island and is well known for looking at each case as its own question and unique situation.”
An outpouring of prayer requests on behalf of Rabbi Kelemer have popped up on social media with Yitzy Kaplowitz posting on Facebook “No words can adequately express who R Kelemer truly is but for those who never met him R Kelemer Is a tremendous Talmud Chacham who has gantz Shas and poskim at his fingertips, he is also Kulo Chesed. I could write all night with stories that are told about his Ahavas Yisrael and chassadim, these are the types of stories you hear in books. This is just a small taste of an incredibly great man.”
Rabbi Kelemer is scheduled to be the guest speaker at a benefit being held next week in Manhattan for the Womens League Community Residences and is part of a lineup of 33 speakers who will be addressing participants at a conference being held by the Orthodox Union at Citi Field in mid-January.
Detectives with the NCPD’s Homicide Squad are investigating the accident. Anyone with any information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-244-TIPS.
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