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


    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.

    Follow VosIzNeias For Breaking News Updates is here to help you manage your home without the stress. Go to for recipes, menu planners, kids' activities, and more.


    1. This guy was a mob wanna-be, and a dangerous thug – a real shtarker. Read Albert Seedman’s book “Chief” if you’re interested in the story – he has a whole chapter on the crime, which incidentally, was either in or very near BP (it was right off New Utrecht Avenue, although I don’t remember which street off the top of my head).

      • It was on the north (odd numbers) side of 48th Street, between New Utrecht & 12th Avenue. The Cigar Warehouse where it happened is still there.

      • Two on-duty detectives from the 70 precinct responded to a “hold-up-in-progress” alarm call due to the 66th precinct not having any available officers to respond. They walked in on Rosenberg and two other perps and were shot dead. The perps escaped and were later captured . The names of these two brave detectives were detectives Finnegan and Fallon. I remember years ago seeing their pictures hanging in the 66th precinct detective squad room. I don’t know if they are still there.

        Detective Fallon and Detective John Finnegan were shot and killed during a robbery call.

        Detective Fallon and Finnigan were on patrol duty when they learned of a robbery at a tobacco shop at 1167 48th Street, Brooklyn. As they entered the shop, they were met by gunfire from the guns of three suspects who were in the middle of robbing the store. Both Detective Fallon and Detective Finnegan were killed instantly.

        The suspects fled, but were all later apprehended. One suspect was acquitted. The other two suspects were convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death. Their death sentences were commuted to life in prison by Governor Rockefeller in 1966. One suspect died in prison and the second suspect remains in prison. He is the state’s longest held prisoner and is eligible for parole in 2006.

        Detective Fallon had served with the New York City Police Department for 25 years. Both detectives were assigned to the 70th Detective Squad.

        Related Line of Duty Deaths Detective John P. Finnegan
        New York City Police Department, NY
        EOW: Friday, May 18, 1962
        Cause of Death: Gunfire

    2. 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.

      is all that can b said on a org. like this
      keep up ur good work RABBI ROSENBERG

    3. no difference shomer shabbos or not it says in zohar hakodesh every jewish persons neshomoh and body is kodesh so does that answer your question

      • a person may ask whatever he feels like. it doesnt mean he thinks of him more or less. why cant people ever ask whatever they like on this forum. there will always be someone coming down on him especially if the questions are regarding their jewish status. let people ask what they want, they’re just being curious.

    4. Did he leave any children? I think yisrol af al p shechootoh yisrol he. Especially that he maintained his innocents till his last day. Who knows back in those days there was no technology, Dna, and every thing was corrupted as corrupted can be, remember the two cops that where just indicted about greenwalds murder. anyhow Thaya.Nishmusio.Tzriour.Bzriour.hachaim.

    5. to number 8: Why do you say he was a heimisher yingerman. If you don’t know keep your mouth shut. I remember the crime. When was the last time you heard of a “heimisher” yingerman killing someone

    6. I think it was on 48th st & new Utrecth ave, where the Optimo wholesale cigarette place is. Two Detectives were killed, there is a plaque on the wall there, I didnt know a YId did it

    7. i have no doubt that if this man was guilty of the crime, he surely did t’shuva many times over. Please don’t fall for the yetzer hora’s trick of trying to get you to gossip about this topic.
      Chazal teach us that you shouldn’t judge a man until you are in his shoes. If you insist on judging him, then you are clearly asking God to put you in his shoes.

      Hatzlacha Rabba

    8. He was NOT shomer shabat. He was a gang member in a botched robbery of a wholesale tobacco business in BoroPark. Yes, there are at least 2 convicted killers in jail who were shomer shabos when they commited their dastardly crime. Dont forget the diamond polisher-dealer who kept the body of his victim for days in his shop under his feet while the whole jewish city was looking for the poor victim. And also rotting in jail is the wife killer from flatbush, and a few others, not so frum, or who found religion in jail.


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here