A rabbi known affectionately as “Rambowitz” wants to train Jewish kids in karate to help defend themselves against the growing problem of street attacks.
Rabbi Gary Moskowitz, a New York spiritual leader and seventh-degree black belt, made the decision after noticing the rise in crimes against Jews in Brooklyn and beyond, reportedly in connection to the game “Knockout,” in which passersby are attacked at random.
Some eight such cases against Jews have occurred in Brooklyn in the past few months.
“If Jewish kids started fighting back, they wouldn’t get picked on so much,” Moskowitz, 56, told the NYPost. “I’m just trying to encourage the Jewish community to do that.”
Moskowitz, who is Orthodox, teaches self-defense in Flushing and refers to his young students as “Savage Skullcaps.” He said his passion for the work stems from anti-Semitic bullying he faced as a teen.
“I wore a yarmulke, and I was a target,” he said. “I was once dragged up six stories to a rooftop by a gang . . . They held me over the ledge.”
The Knockout phenomenon has caused worry across the country, as cities like New York, Philadelphia and Boston have seen gang-related violence in a seemingly random pattern.
In Brooklyn, an Orthodox boy as young as 12 was targeted.