By MARCY OSTER
NEW YORK CITY (JTA) — Joseph Gluck received a $20,000 reward for his role in apprehending the suspected Monsey synagogue stabber.
But it didn’t come from two Jewish groups that had offered the award for information leading to an arrest.
Gluck told News 12 Brooklyn that after consulting with his rabbi, he decided to reject the money from the “Zionist organizations” — the Jewish Federation of Rockland County and the Anti-Defamation League — because they don’t represent the beliefs and values of his haredi Orthodox community.
“I was not willing to offer my soul for $20,000. My identity for $20,000 was not for sale,” he told News 12.
Gluck’s rabbi instead raised that amount from “people who were inspired by his actions,” according to the report.
Rabbi Dovid Feldman explained to News 12 that the ADL and Jewish federation were about to issue a statement “to encourage and promote the Zionist idea of Jewish self-defense, of fighting back, of fighting our enemies, which happens to be contrary to our tradition.”
The check was presented to Gluck at a ceremony in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg.
Gluck, 32, of Monsey, threw a table at the alleged attacker during a Chanukah party at a rabbi’s home and chased him outside, then wrote down his license plate number. Police used the license information to apprehend Grafton Thomas, 37, who has been indicted on six attempted murder charges. One of the victims was seriously injured. The stabbings also carry a federal hate crimes charge.
Thomas denies stabbing anyone, and his family says he suffers from mental illness.
In January, Gluck was awarded the New York State Senate’s highest honor, the Liberty Medal.