Alden, NY – New York’s Longest Jewish Serving Inmate Dies at Age 72

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    Wende Correctional Facility's medical unitAlden, NY – Jerry Rosenberg, New York’s longest serving inmate, has died of natural causes after 46 years in state prison.

    Rosenberg who’s Jewish name was Yakov Shimshon ben Eliezer Yosef, was 72 and doing time for a botched 1962 stickup in Brooklyn that left two off-duty police officers dead. Rosenberg had maintained his innocence.

    He had been held at the Wende Correctional Facility’s medical unit since 2000 and died Monday. Corrections officials say privacy laws prohibit them from providing a specific cause of death. A picture taken in March shows him with an oxygen tube.

    Rosenberg was hours away from the electric chair in 1964 when he received a stay.

    In 1967, Rosenberg became the first inmate in the state to earn a law degree behind bars. He was a prisoner spokesmen during the Attica uprising in 1971.

    Chesed Shel Emes are currently meeting with NY State Prison officials to release the body and to bring him to Kever Yisroel at their cemetery in Liberty, NY.

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