Two Sentenced In Crash That Killed Engaged Choson Yisroel Levin Z”L & Kallah Elisheva Kaplan A”H


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

A Brooklyn man convicted in connection with a 2018 crash on Long Island that killed newly engaged couple Yisroel Levin Z”L & Elisheva Kaplan A”H, was sentenced Tuesday to 18 years to life in prison.

Rahmel Watkins was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide, assault, reckless endangerment and reckless driving in the deaths of 21-year-old Yisroel Levin Z”L and his 20-year-old Kallah, Elisheva Kaplan A”H.

Zakiyyah Steward, who along with Watkins was part of a group of cars traveling in the northbound lanes of the Nassau Expressway in Inwood from Far Rockaway to a Queens casino, was sentenced to 3 to 9 years in prison.

As previously reported on YWN, a Brooklyn judge has admitted he had been too lenient with Zakiyyah Steward, twice sending the 25-year-old into a rehabilitation program after being convicted for a brazen burglary spree, and ignoring prosecutors requests for incarceration.

Watkins was racing at least one other vehicle and going roughly 100 mph before his car swerved into the opposite lane and crashed into the Altima, which then burst into flames. Kaplan and Levin were killed on impact. Nine people were involved in the crash.

Rahmel Watkins, left, was sentenced to 18 years in prison and Zakiyyah Steward, was sentenced to 3 to 9 years for their roles in the April 2018 fatal Lawrence crash. Photo via NCPD

Steward was driving a 2016 Hyundai Genesis next to Watkins at a high rate of speed and while intoxicated and impaired by marijuana.

Yisroel Levin Z”L and 20-year-old Elisheva Kaplan A”H were going to be married this summer.

At the Levaya, R’Shaya Levin (father of Yisroel A”H) asked Hashem for 10,000 Shidduchim in Klal Yisroel in exchange for giving back his Afikoman, his son Yisroel, who was Niftar on Chol Hamoed pesach.

Out of this tragedy, an initiative was started to redt Shidduchim, and not stop until 10,000 Shidduchim is reached. The initiative is called 10kBatayYisroel.

Recently 10kBatayYisroel reached a tremendous milestone, as 10,000 suggestions have been logged.

10kBatayYisroel encourages anyone at all to try their hand at redting a Shidduch. “The novelty of 10K Batay Yisroel is that we are showing all of Klal Yisroel that you don’t have to be a professional shadchan to make a shidduch,” says R’Shaya Levin. “You just have to possess a caring and loving heart and a desire to bring simcha to our beloved singles.”

Shidduch suggestions can be logged at

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. Coffee addict, you’re 1000% right! And you didn’t mention the speed either! Why is there no penalty for that? Sinaas Israel; the only rational explanation!

  2. Was there an actual trial? If this was a plea deal, it’s not surprising that the sentences were on the lighter side. That’s how please typically work.