Thursday, November 24, 2011

Rabbi critical, man he was helping across street killed 

A rabbi was in critical condition today after a car accident took the life of the 88-year-old man he was helping across the street in Hancock Park.

Berish Landau of Los Angeles, a prominent member of the Hasidic community, and 59-year-old Rabbi Samuel Jacobs of Valley Village, were walking across La Brea Avenue at Oakwood Avenue in the crosswalk about 6:15 a.m. Tuesday when they were struck.

A 1999 Plymouth Voyager, being driven north on North La Brea by a 27- year-old man, struck the men in front of Bais Yehuda Shul about 6:20 a.m., authorities said.

The driver, whose name was not released, stopped and cooperated with officers investigating the collision. There are no plans to charge him, police said.

Jacobs helped Landau across the street everyday, Rabbi Asher Biron told KPCC.

"This appears to have been a terrible accident and the driver was not arrested," according to a Los Angeles Police Department statement. "The driver and victims were all part of a close-knit Jewish community, which has been deeply saddened by the incident."

Landau moved here 10 years ago from New York to be closer to his son, Yonah, a prominent community outreach activist who runs a food distribution organization called Tomchei Shabbos.

During his funeral service last night blocks from the accident scene, Landau, also called Dov, was remembered as a man who lived in pre-war Europe and provided an important link to another generation of Jews, Rabbi Asher Biron of Los Angeles told KPCC. Another funeral will be held Friday morning in New York, where Landau will be buried, Biron said.

Jacobs, who goes by Shmuel, is an elementary school teacher at Yeshiva Rav Isacsohn located near the accident site. Community members have been praying for his condition to improve.


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