"I [prayed in the nursing home] only to help the old people — and [the community] terrorized me. I'm not a fighter. I'm just going to get out of there and give my kids a real Jewish life and not a terrorist life."
One of the men who joined burn attack victim Aron Rottenberg to pray in a New City nursing home near New Square is leaving New Square today.
Citing intimidation and harassment from New Square residents, David Fromowitz and his family are moving to Monsey.
The Grand Rabbi or Rebbe of Skvere, the supreme religious authority in the hasidic village of New Square, forbade all residents of New Square from praying anywhere except the town's only synagogue, which he heads, citing a decree made by his predecessor at the founding of the village.
Writing in a public letter in November, the town's religious court and its political leaders – both under the direct control of Rabbi David Twersky, the Skvere Rebbe – ordered residents to harass dissidents.
Late night demonstrations were held outside the Fromowitz home, with angy followers of the Rebbe screaming for the family to move out of town. The Fromowitz children were expelled from village schools, and the family received threatening phone calls and other types of harassment.
In January, Fromowitz began preparations to move his family out of New Square, and the harassment and intimidation against him and his family stopped.
"I did it [prayed in the nursing home] only to help the old people — and (the community) terrorized me," Fromowitz told the Journal News. The 33-year-old has five children. He grew up in New Square and works in real estate.
"I'm not a fighter. I'm just going to get out of there and give my kids a real Jewish life and not a terrorist life," Fromowitz said.
Fromowitz also told the Journal News he only called police to report the harassment after Rottenberg was set on fire by a servant of the Rebbe on May 22.
After they found out about the attack on Rottenberg and his family, Fromowitz said his children were so worried that he called police and asked for protection.
According to the Journal News, a patrol officer guarded the Fromowitz house the rest of that day.
[Hat Tip: Burich.]
Update 10:30 am CDT – The following comment by Apikorus Al Ha'esh taken from the comment section of this post contains information I have yet to verify. But I've heard the same claims made, as well: