Daily Israel Report

Israeli Hassidic Leader Arrested in Monsey

Head of Shomrei Emunim sect accused of lying on his visa application.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 11/21/2013, 2:23 PM

(Illustration) Shomrei Emunim hassidim
(Illustration) Shomrei Emunim hassidim
Flash 90

The son of an Israeli Chassidic leader has been arrested in Monsey, in the United States, where he tried to establish his own community of followers.

He is accused of having lied on his visa application.

Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Roth is one of the sons of Rabbi Aharon Roth, also known as Reb Arele, the founder of the Chassidic sect Shomrei Emunim. The sect is known for its strong anti-Zionist stance, its insular lifestyle and emphasis on fervent prayer.

After Rabbi Aharon Roth’s death, his sons established their own branches of Shomrei Emunim in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak and Ashdod. The son who was arrested had apparently planned to bring the movement overseas.

However, his plans may come to an end if American authorities find he lied. He is accused of having falsely told American officials in the embassy in Israel that he had no criminal record, when in fact he served time in prison as a youth.

In addition to the branches of Shomrei Emunim, Rabbi Aharon Roth’s movement also inspired the creation of the Toldot Aharon group, which was founded by one of his sons-in-law.