Long Island rabbi injured outside synagogue in hit-and-run

WEST HEMPSTEAD, Long Island (WABC) -- A 70-year-old rabbi was struck by a vehicle in front of his synagogue in West Hempstead Monday night.

The victim, Rabbi Jordon Kelemer, was hit outside Young Israel of West Hempstead around 7:30 p.m.

Police say a white Dodge Ram pick-up truck was traveling south on Hempstead Avenue when it struck Kelemer, who was crossing from west to east in front of the synagogue.

The vehicle, possibly an early 2000 model with driver-side front-end damage, did not stop. The victim was found by a passerby.

Kelemer was taken with a head injury to Winthrop Hospital in Mineola in serious but stable condition.

"The members of the synagogue are just distraught," friend Jay Kaplowitz said. "We're just extraordinarily saddened that a man as beloved as Rabbi Kelemer has to go through something like this."

He has served at the synagogue for more than 30 years, and the members of the congregation attended a special service Tuesday morning to pray for him.

"It's horrible, it's a tragedy," congregant Tania Materman said. "And the fact that the person didn't have the decency to stop is even worse."

Police ask anyone with information on the case to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.
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