CBS2 reports: A 16-year-old teenager is hoping to help improve relations between Orthodox Jews and blacks in his Brooklyn community by trading on what makes him a curiosity to both: He is black and a Hasidic Jew.
Yosef Abrahamson got a chance—at least symbolically—when he was made commanding officer of a Crown Heights police precinct on Tuesday. He joined 120 other city teens for the one-day-only recognition. Abrahamson says he is willing to do anything to help the two communities.
“There’s a lot of trouble in my community,” the teen, who wears the distinctive black suit and fedora of the Chabad Lubavitch Orthodox Jews, told the NY Daily News.
“But I’m willing to do anything to help,” he said.
Yosef won an essay competition for the honor of being named the top cop of the 71st Precinct.
According to the NY Daily News, Yosef arrived last year from Nebraska, where he was home-schooled by his mother, Dinah Abrahamson – the daughter of a Jewish woman who fled Nazi Germany and an African-American father.
Yosef was subjected to sharp comments about his mixed heritage. Some Jews have told him he doesn’t fit in and some African-Americans have warned him that his schooling is turning “him into a Jew.”
But for the most part, “People have been very welcoming of us,” said the boy’s mother.
“I hope I can make some difference,” he said. “Things have to change.”
(Source: WCBSTV / NY Daily News / Photo: Maisel for Daily News)