Daily Israel Report

Brooklyn Street to be Named for Murdered Jamaican-Jewish Convert

‘Yoseph Robinson Ave.’ named after Orthodox Jewish convert, gunned down protecting girlfriend three years ago.
By Ari Soffer
First Publish: 8/19/2013, 4:32 PM

Illustration: Jews in Brooklyn
Illustration: Jews in Brooklyn
Flash 90

Three years ago 34 year-old Yoseph Robinson was shot dead as he stood in the Brooklyn grocery store where he worked as a clerk. Robinson was shot twice by his killer and former friend Eion Klass, as he tried to grab the gun in an attempt to protect his girlfriend Lahava Wallace.

Robinson was a Jamaican convert to Judaism, who pulled himself away from a life of crime and found purpose and stability in Orthodox Judaism.

But on that fateful day in August 2010 he was gunned down in cold blood by Klass, a career criminal who had only recently been released from jail after serving an 11-year sentence for robbery and attempted murder.

In a letter read out at the sentencing of her boyfriend's killer, Lahava Wallace described Robinson as "a role model":

“He ran the streets, but left that alone to make something of himself. Yoseph Robinson was a man to be proud of and admired.”

Eion was sentenced to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of manslaughter and robbery.

Now, the city of Brooklyn is dedicating a permanent memorial in honor of the slain hero. Ave. J and Nostrand Avenue, which are only a few feet from where Robinson was gunned down, will be renamed as "Yoseph Robinson Avenue" according to New York Daily News.

The memorial initiative was first suggested by Wallace, who urged City Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-Midwood) to honor her boyfriend's memory with a street sign.

Speaking after an emotional ceremony on Sunday, which brought together members of the Jewish and Caribbean communities, Wallace said simply: "It was meant to be."