Synagogue Shooting Scandal in Polish Town over Rabbinate Conflict Ends in Two Jews Going to Prison

The shooting scandal in the Synagogue courtyard in the town of Lukov, in the district of Siedlice, which occurred on February 28th, when partisans of rival candidates for the Rabbinate of Lukov, came into conflict, had a sequel today, when the case came up in court,and two people involved, Jacob Gruenblatt, who fired at Gershon Slizak, a youth of 20 belonging to the opposing camp, was sentenced to three months imprisonment, and Moses Aaron Weintraub, who was accused of having been responsible for the incitement which led to the shooting, was sentenced to two months imprisonment.

The conflict broke out between the local Orthodox group, and the Zionists, each side putting up a candidate of their own for the Rabbinate. The Zionists entered into a combination with the Mizrachists, and the Jewish Artisans and Jewish ‘Organisations, and got their candidate elected. The Orthodox group refused to recognise the Rabbi, and appointed a Rabbi of their own.

On the day of the induction of the new Rabbi, Gruenblatt and Weintraub organised a procession of the malcontents, and marched to the Syngogue with their Rabbi, Silberberg, and insisted that he should be admitted. A crowd of about 300 Jews attacked the procession, throwing stones, and Rabbi Silberberg and Weintraub fled. Gruenblatt was surrounded by the mob, and beaten, and when he saw that he was in danger, he pulled out a revolver and shot twice in the air, and a third time lower down, the third bullet hitting Slizak.

About 50 witnesses were called to the trial, and the Vice-District-Chief of Lukov, M. Boleslav Gurni presided. The witnesses agreed that Weintraub had been the organiser of the whole demonstration. There was some conflict over the question of the revolver used by Gruenblatt. Some witnesses said that Gruenblatt had no revolver on him, and that someone in the crowd seeing him hard-pressed, handed him the revolver. M. Levandevsky, the expert called in the case, declared, however, that the bullet belonged to a revolver for which Gruenblatt had a permit.

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