|Page (1) of 1 - 07/15/11||email article||print page|
Citizen patrols draw praise, criticism as they aim to keep Orthodox Jewish communities safe
NEW YORK (AP) ' When an 8-year-old Hasidic boy disappeared in Brooklyn, his parents' first call was not to the police. They called the Shomrim patrol, a volunteer group whose name means guardians in Hebrew.
A Shomrim-organized search party looked for little Leiby Kletzky in their neighborhood. Like other ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods, it's a worlds unto itself. Residents are identifiable by their distinctive appearance: wigs and modest dresses for the women, beards and side curls for the men. Community members send their children to Jewish schools, speak Yiddish as a first language and shun modern distractions like television.
The search party organized by Shomrim members grew to as many as 5,000 people looking for little Leiby Kletzky. It ended Wednesday morning when police arrested Levi Aron, a 35-year-old hardware supply clerk who has pleaded not guilty to killing the boy and dismembering him.