Exclusive: Religion A Possible Factor In NYC Teacher Beating

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — A local teacher has been hospitalized after a brutal beating, and his three attackers may have targeted him simply because of his religion.

Joel Weinberger, a 26-year-old father of four, has swollen eyes, a broken leg and his jaw has been wired shut. His difficulty talking about what happened to him was both physical and emotional.

Family spokesman Isaac Abraham filled in the details, saying the attack happened on Thanksgiving at about 7:30 p.m.

Weinberger left his workplace, a Yeshiva on Harrison Avenue, and rounded the corner onto a desolate street one block from his home. There, he was confronted by three men.

“They were offered his wallet, and they were not even interested,” Abraham said. “They were there for one reason only – it’s to hurt him because of his religion.

“All his religious articles – his hat, his jacket, his fringes – were ripped apart. He was basically undressed on the scene,” Abraham said.

The nearest security camera to the attack, belonging to a car rental business, was too far and at an angle which prevented it from catching the crime on tape. However, the video may provide a glimpse of the three suspects before or after the attack.

The suspects took Weinberger’s cell phone, and CBS 2 has learned that detectives are checking cell phone records. In the meantime, they will wait for Weinberger to be alert enough to give them a detailed statement.

“He is a very good person,” Weinberger’s coworker, Joel Weiss, said.

“Life is not safe,” one woman said. “We thought it’s a safe place, but we have to put more eyes, more lighting.”

“It’ll happen again if they are not taken off the streets quick,” Abraham said.

The search for suspects is complicated because Weinberger did not get a good look at his three attackers, telling friends and family it was too dark and he was jumped from behind.

For now, the case is being classified by policy as an assault and a robbery. That could change to a bias attack, after investigators get a chance to speak at length with Weinberger.

More from Dave Carlin
  • saracen

    wow all im hearing in the comments are a mix of ” athiests” and justifications of the Bible and Christianity, first of all im not jew or christian i am muslim, one thing i do agree with here is that the true problem is the way we humans choose to understand our religions and during the process things do get influenced thus they change and some groups or indiviuduals do take it to the next level and htat level is not justified by that religion ( i.e. Some extreme islamist groups) they do not undersand the true meaning of Islam, im not gna go into islam because your opinions on it will never change. so back to the point i think atleast one thing jews,christians and muslims can agree upon is that there is a GOD wether u choose to believe in him or not! he isnt gna go away because u believe you were spawned from ”mother earth” or wtvr..this whole incident is a crime i just want to know why coincedently a jewish ( good man as it says) had his story published when there are a million such cases a day in the states involving other religions, sects, ethnicities?? im not a christian or have any extended knowledge of christianity but it preaches almost the same principles as TRUE islam so any strayed away islamist is called a terrorist then why cant racist or sinister groups such as the KKK be seen as much of a threat to the american way of life?? – a jewish man was a victim of a crime, it is yet to prove who did it and why! evidence or not..you can tblame christians or muslims or jews or aliens from outer space for that matter until there is sufficent PROOF!!

  • steven110

    When was the last time you heard of a Jew attacking a Christian because of religion? NEVER. It was Mother Teresa who said: “To be a good Christian you must love the Jews because Jesus was Jewish.”

  • J

    Spinoza, what does being gay have to do with this guy getting his as- kicked. The real issue are the Jews or the Muslims, the the radicalism of such religious view points. While I’m empathetic towards him; I totally understand the frustrations surrounding religions. After all they all profess to do gods work; but does this work encompass beatings and killings in his name?

    • Spinoza


      You’re absolutely right that the radicalism of religion is the direct issue here. No doubt. That doesn’t even need to be discussed here because the issue is so obvious that it doesn’t need to be debated.

      But where did it all begin? That is my point. The core of the problem begins from how we avoid answering some simple questions that surround us, such as the ones I provided, simply because you simply cannot answer them without questioning your religion. The simple thing to do is to ignore the hard questions and that’s how most of us live our entire life.

      You’re absolutely right that I am frustrated by religion. I apologize if you thought my post was off topic.

  • Richie

    This is crazy for this to happen in todays world. I sure would like to build a concentration camp for people that hurt others, rapists, thieves and thugs and do like the germans did back then and televise it on the evening news. It may be inhumane but we need to start cleaning up the trash out there. I feel sorry for this guy …hope you recover fully my friend and I’m not jewish by the way. Does’nt matter what race or religion people lets just get along.

  • alex offikwu

    the witch cried last night and the child dead, freedom as professed by the americans will be their undoing, most of their woes emanates from their excessive freedom, you become an instant target if you are different due to your religion, ironically their ignorance is gross, hey mister victim! dont allow any one change you into what you’re not, get of that bed and move on with you life, work on your vigilance, self defense, dont allow any one to push you around,

  • Spinoza

    I’m sort of an atheist. I just think it’s stupid to believe in made-up stories simply because we don’t understand something.

    I have a question for all the Christians out there. Why do you continue to ignore the fact that being gay is not always a personal choice but that some people are born gay? We inherit all sorts of psychological attributes. Why not the attribute that makes some of us gay? Why when we are certainly capable of believing that we can inherit all sorts of other attributes such as “intelligence” that we can’t physically see? Because it would prove the bible to be incompatible with the facts that are out there? Do you really believe being gay is a reason to go to hell?

    Here is a really difficult question for you. A good number of real people are born with both male and female sex organs. Of course we never hear about them because the doctors immediately remove one or the other based on whether you have an extra x or y chromosome. If you believe god exists and god decides to give your child 2 sex organs did your child make a “personal choice” to have 2 sex organs? Isn’t it something that was god-given? Again, if we can be born with 2 sex organs why is it so hard to believe that some of us are born gay?

    I don’t care whether you choose to believe in god or not, but please stop using the bible as a book of morals because it isn’t. The old testament clearly justifies slavery. So the new testament was cooked up which is like a modernized version of the old testament. Except that it is absolutely obsessed with sodomy when there is so much more we should be worried about. Well, since we like the new version better anyway, why not go one step further and become a mormon and believe in the teachings of Joseph Smith? You laugh at mormonism the same way those who still believe that the Old Testament is the only true teachings of god (religon of islam) laughs at you.

    I don’t care. Just stop justifying your hate / pity for jews and gays with your religion.

  • Zain

    See this is the typical evidence to show how biased is the media and the way they give twist to a news storey. See the gentleman got attacked has not seen
    them and no one around the secene has seen them but the media came to conclusion before any investigation is done and the authorities found out the truth. So please do not rouse the peoples feeling and creat tension and trouble among people. One good person was attached by some hooligans so let the authorities find them and given them due purnishment under the law.

  • ggd

    Religion is the joke responsible for his attack. Perhaps he should start believing in the truth and not the indoctrination that turned him from been a fellow human into a Jew. Those who attacked him whatever they are – are also victims of their religious beliefs.

    I only wish that all of humanity can drop this religion thing. YOU ARE ALL WRONG, stop indoctrinating humanities future teach your children that we all come from mother earth and that we are brothers and sisters – or they will be cursed to hurt and bomb each in the name of lies.

    One thing is for certain, all religions die eventually – all they will have left will be in museums. Education will liberate the future generations from the stupidity of old. If I can think like this I know I am not the only one. I will never teach my children what was forced on me. I would say the process has started, all you religious die-hards will eventually die and with you will be your blood thirsty, mind control religions.

    • Apen

      There’s nothing wrong with religion. It is the interpretation of religion that makes it wrong.

    • saladin

      ggd, you’ve said it well. I hope to see the first active politian to “come out of the closet” and use this truth in a political campaign. Unfortunately I’m afraid that most humans cannot deal with the fear of God being fiction. Faith was invented to deal with this fear, and so far no one has even started to propagate this idea. I hope millions read your comment ggd.


    • Sharon

      ggd, firstly I would like to say that I sincerely hope that you don’t have children or ever have any with such an attitude. Because it would be such a sad turn of events if your children would grow up to know Jesus.
      And secondly, I sincerely hope that the people who are responsible for this attack on this man, do not call themselves Christians. As Christians are supposed to be examples of Jesus Christ our Saviour. We are to be gentle, kind, giving, unselfish, helpful, good-natured and forgiving to all, no matter who or what they are. It is by far one of the most difficult religions to be in, and only the strong, the true believers in Jesus Christ make it, because we HAVE to turn the other cheek, no matter what.

      • Sharon

        I just want to make a correction on my previous reply on ggd’s comment. THe correction is that it would be a sad turn of events if his children would NOT get to know Jesus Christ

    • ln

      you’re indoctrinated with the religion that believes in “Mother Earth” and believes that everyone else is “ALL WRONG”. You seem to preach tolerance and acceptance and probably pride yourself on how open-minded you are, and yet your words profess nothing but intolerance and a lack of understanding. it is not religion versus athiesm. your atheism IS your religion. and it has produced a view that is more closed-minded than any other.

      the majority of religious practices might be human invention but if there is a God – he exists whether you believe in him or not, and whether you choose to ‘drop this religion thing’ or to follow him.

      • Charles

        Atheism is not a religion, it is not a belief system. Religious belief is delusional.

    • Amos

      There are truths that just don’t change despite one’s assertion. God exists, He is in power; He has given us grace to realize the evil in every one of us and seek to benefit from His saving grace through Christ Jesus; He is also Judge of all and, one day, we will all face up to His judgment. All of us still have time to know God personally – seize the opportunity! Reality does not change just by mind-appeasing assertions. Be bold – try Him.

  • Tic

    Forever the Jews are blessed and no hate activity can exterminate them from the face of the earth. I bless the Jews in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. God will continue to curse those who curse you and to fight your battles for you. You are winners all the time.

  • John

    Lay you 10 to 1 odds it was radical conservative right wingers, or putting it more bluntly, white male caucasian neo-fascists.

    • Mike Mellor

      John, lay you 10 to 1 odds you’re a bigot.

  • Saracen

    this comment if for everyone who thinks ”middle easterns” are the atackers, Gustavo? ”towel and a fanbelt for a head covering”? hahaha then you blame the world for being ignorant and unethical and racist. the middle east is litterally the fuel you guys run your big blocks v8s on every morning to work so i dont really know why you instantly go against them if you have NO PROOF they are the attackers. also the fact that this ”beating” made it to the news seems to be questionable because jews kill..shoot…rape and murder incocent women and children in palestine and israel everyday..im not saying all jews are bad..i have nothing against them its the bad jews who commit such crimes are the ones i have a problem with..but hey a 26-year old jew got the life kicked out of him and thats all over the net..but never the afrian americans who die EVERYDAY in new york or the LATINO community who suffer from gang violance and where death is a daily occurance…its easy to blame the arabs and its easy to blame the KKk..but the united states is a so called democracy and you cant call anyone or any type of people guilty unless you have proof so if these idiot attackers have gotten caught on tape and turn out to be arab or kkk members then fair play they deserve the highest of puishments but until then try to live by your own damn princeples for once instead of enforcing them on to others when you dont pratice them yourselves!

  • Don

    Well there is a saying in the old testament. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. Something like that. I that was words God said to Abraham and his children Israel.
    So these 3 guys I think is cursed.

  • King David

    I know that these dogs from hell that attacked my brother have poked our God’s own eye. Though the world may not be able to see their end, but I guarantee you their demise and abrupt destruction.

    • LUCY jO

      iI agree with you totally (Don and King David) Certainly all evil doers will perish and they would cry and no one would hear them. whether they attacked a Jew or kill the blacks or latinos or oppress either or in anyway or form. God said: LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. THEREFORE, DO UNTO OTHERS WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE OTHERS TO DO UNTO YOU.

  • SamSaidSo

    Some guy got his butt kicked late at night in a dark alley….Is this really news worthy?!?!? Oh !Its a Jew …that explains the big deal. Morons…media manipulating you again :P

    • JoyL

      ???? Guy beat up at night for NO reason, money, watch, nothing??? Of COURSE they beat him up because he was wearing Hassidic traditional garb, this is no fabrication, nor manipulation of the media, this is pure and simple, a hate crime that NEEDS to be reported!!!!

      • undeluded

        A guy getting mugged is of course a bad thing but hardly warrants an international headline. Why the big deal? Stop this religious pandering and political correctness. So he’s a jew, so what? Would I be reading about this if he was a middle class anglo guy?

    • baahhhhhsaidso

      not only is it news worthy…you felt iit even deserved your attention and your biggotted comment. youre so convinced the “jewish media” is manipulating you, that you have manipulated yourself. lets try to remember that these media companies are not run by jews…just another stereotype, that people like you hope is true so you can continue to place your hate on an easy target. media corporations..are just that….corporations. run by a board, and stockholders. not some jewish guy sitting at a desk thinking of ways to rule the world. but the evidence that speaks the loudest, is that its not hard to convince a biggot like you sammy. you just believe what others tell you. you attack the helpless, because you yourself are helpless…and weak and scared. you are a sheep believing what someone else told you. think for yourself sheep….baaaahhhh

      • realist

        The media is interested in sensationalism for the purpose of profits. HATE CRIME AGAINST JEW! sells way better than MAN MUGGED IN BROOKLYN.

    • nycexplorer

      So how many Christians in NYC have been attacked recently for being Christian? Congratulations for being above manipulation. Too bad you haven’t yet risen to informed.

  • Robert

    Jake, like many people you see your own faults in other people. While it’s true that the KKK was formed by southern democrats you act as if the democratic party is the same today as it was then. Back at the time of the civil war the democrats were the conservatives and the republican were the liberals. This all changed in the sixties when the democrats moved to the left and the republicans moved to the right. Both parties have moved so far from where they were even in the sixties ( let alone 150 years ago) that they would hardly be recognized as being the same parties.
    Your further claims that if it had been a gay person or a muslim it would have automatically been labeled a hate crime is erroneous. Crimes are rarely if ever automatically classified as hate crimes. Those determinations usually come days later. As Jewish people have historically been one of the largest groups targeted in hate crimes (according to FBI statistics) I fail to see how you can claim that hate crime laws only benefit “special interests”.

  • Bello Kano

    Someone wearing a towel amd a fanbelt attacked him? Perhpas somme one wearing a potato sack and a donkey rope attacked him”

  • ace

    Who did this foolish thing? Isn’t enough for them to rob him? Why they envious with this religious people? Get well soon buddy and next time you should be more vigilant. Bad people are everywhere but they will repay for what they’ve done to you. …

  • antonio mafnas

    This is the type of incidents that will become prevalent and worst as we venture into the future. As nation rise against nation religious hatreds will be on the brink of disaster. The realities of the critical times around the globe are now experiencing and the worst of it are yet to come.

  • Jake

    Are you really that ignorant? Or are you just uneducated? How about a dose of reality, education, and truth? Can you handle the truth?
    The kkk was created by the democratic party. Just google “kkk and democrats” to get 982,000 hits.
    On the kkk and democrats mega-list, answers.com came up first so here is the opening paragraph. “History shows that the Ku Klux Klan was the terrorist arm of the Democrat Party. This ugly fact about the Democrat Party is detailed in the book, A Short History of Reconstruction, (Harper & Row Publishers, Inc., 1990) by Dr. Eric Foner, the renown liberal historian who is the DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University. As a further testament to his impeccable credentials, Professor Foner is only the second person to serve as president of the three major professional organizations: the Organization of American Historians, American Historical Association, and Society of American Historians.”
    Wikipedia kkk says “As a secret vigilante group, the Klan focused its anger reacted against Radical Republican and sought to restore white supremacy by threats and violence, including murder, against black and white Republicans.”
    Then you claim these attacks occur across the country, name examples and show proof…? You are so blinded by hatred and bias you cannot even see reality. Please learn history before making ignorant comments.

    Now, regarding the article about the attack, they are waiting to determine if it was a hate crime? Mr. Weinberger apparently left his Yeshiva and 3 men accosted him. They destroyed all of his religious clothing after refusing to steal his wallet. That does not take to much investigating to determine what the motive appears to be. A Jewish man with Jewish clothes leaves a Jewish place of business and his religious clothes are destroyed his wallet is not stolen and they beat him up. That seems clear cut to me. Had it been a gay man leaving a gay bar in gay clothes (if there is such a thing) and the same thing happened it would have AUTOMATICALLY been a hate crime. Or if it had been a muslim man leaving a muslim business wearing muslim clothes it would have AUTOMATICALLY been a hate crime. However, if it was an African American man leaving an African American business wearing African American clothes (if there is such a thing) and the same thing happened; he would be like this Jewish man and laying in a hospital to clarify what happened…and on and on I could go…
    I believe the Justice Department should escalate this and show the citizens of America the LAW is applied equally regardless of who is the victim. Personally I believe this hate crime law is illegal and unnecessary and this example proves it is NEVER going to be applied equally to victims of ”hate” crimes… It is ONLY for special interest groups…for votes…

    phil, rather than parroting what you have been told try confirming information before making yourself look like a fool spewing out blanket generalizations and accusations.

    • sw

      Hey Jake – you do realize that wikipedia is an unreliable source, right? I’m not saying you’re wrong about the Democrat party behind the KKK because frankly, I don’t know. However, if you are going to make an argument, support it with reliable sources, not wiki or answers.com.
      Also, the motive could have easily been something that was not religiously fueled. The articles of clothing that were ripped were easy to remove – hat, jacket, fringes as opposed to his (under) shirt, pants, shoes. They just happened to be religious wear. The three suspects refused his wallet BUT they took his phone. Their motive could have been that Mr. Weinberger was an easy target. The three suspects probably thought “he’s a lone person in a dark, desolate area, unsuspecting, and has an expensive phone”. The following day was a big consumer holiday so maybe the 3 suspects thought they could get quick cash to buy something for themselves Black Friday.
      Therefore, the motive is not as clear cut as you think.

      I do wish Mr. Weinberger a healthy and speedy recovery.

      • Avraham

        Re: SW “The articles of clothing that were ripped were easy to remove – hat, jacket, fringes” the fringes specifically are not all that easy to remove – they are traditionally worn below other layers of clothes. Also according the this spokesman the clothes were not simply removed but rather ripped apart.
        But besides for that – when’s the last time you heard of a mugging where the persons clothes were removed??? And a thief who left behind a wallet which could have untraceable cash in it while taking a cell phone which nowadays is not the hardest thing to track – especially if you give the police incentive to search for it – like beating the person senseless and breaking bones…
        C’mon people… if this isn’t a hate crime…

  • truthtobelieve

    Sadly society is infiltrated by criminals. I think it is important to wait for the outcome of the investigation as to know who the culprits are.

  • Jacob

    OH America
    You are in denial. Can’t you see that the Middle Easterns are bringing Hell to your door steps shading under your democracy and abusing your free world spirit. You don’t really know them. but they know how your free mentality can be manupilated. Please wake up and protect your land before it is too late. l

    • truthtobelieve

      Those that dwell in darkness do things in darkness and do things of darkness, because they belong to darkness. God the creator only should deliver them from such darkness into marvelous light of Lord Jesus Christ.

  • pete

    signs of the times , when the world turns for the worst it’s always the jews who get the short end of the stick , I say we all go to Israel and take our money with us , let these animals see where they end up without us.

  • Mike

    “All his religious articles – his hat, his jacket, his fringes – were ripped apart. He was basically undressed on the scene,” Abraham said. It does not take a genius to realize that the victim could be an ultra-orthodox Jew (they only treat women as child bearing devices). I still see this aggression as a hate-crime one. I hope that those thugs were recorded by any security camera on their way to commit their crime and after leaving the crime scene.

  • Rascal

    Well they did give him a good scare.They thought he was a pilgrim, it was Thanksgiving-blame it on the Brits.

  • EEE

    Gustavo, are you a fool? Many attacks on Jews have been by non-Jewish whites.

  • Jeremiah Springfield

    Well, he is a jew, nothing special here…

    • JoyL

      and this makes it acceptable?? Are we back in 1935 Germany??

    • jerry dingleberry

      and you are a jackazzz

  • gustavo

    What is your IQ? Is it below 70?

  • Alan Foos

    A serious crime. Nothing said about what this religion is. True Christianity is NOT a religion, it is the reality of the living God. From my observations and experiences, religious people are rarely harassed in public schools, but true Christians are almost always given trouble.

    • Gustavo

      Isn’t it obvious that he is Jewish. Looks like someone who wears a towel and fanbelt for a head covering attacked him.

  • Phillip McCullough

    This is exactly the kind of thing happening across the country,it is fueled by the hatred that is be given llejitimacy by groups such as the Tea Party-Code for KKK

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