[Updated] 2 Members Of Cleveland’s Jewish Community Killed In Small Plane Crash

Beechcraft Bonanza a36 Bill Larkins, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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Update, 11:10pm: The plane has been located. Sadly, local media is reporting that Ben and Boruch did not survive the crash. Baruch dayan ha’emes. 

The original post can be found below.

2 members of Cleveland’s Jewish community flew to NY today to attend a funeral.

Boruch Taub, owner of MasterWorks Automotive & Transmission, was the pilot of the Beechcraft Bonanza a36, a single engine propeller plane. He is an experienced pilot and flies the plane often.

Ben Chafetz, a tech entrepreneur, was his only passenger on the flight.

The plane was returning from JFK to Cleveland’s regional Cuyahoga County Airport when it experienced engine trouble and lost contact with air traffic control at 5:20pm. At 5:25pm the pilot contacted Westchester County Airport directly for help. It crashed shortly thereafter.

Visibility at the Westchester County Airport is very poor tonight, with cloud ceilings of just 200 feet above the ground. LIFR or low instrument flight rules are in place there due to the poor conditions.

Ben apparently thought he was Whatsapping his wife, but wrote to his shul’s night seder group chat with a message for his wife and kids, that they “lost engines,” and to ask the community to say tehilim for them.

The FAA confirmed the crash with DansDeals, noting that the crash occurred about 1 mile from Westchester County Airport. The agency said they will publish a preliminary accident/incident report tomorrow.

The flight path can be seen here.

More than 5 hours after the crash, the plane has still not been located. Torrential rain, thunder, and lightning are hindering search efforts there.

Ben was on the infamous El Al flight #002 that spent Shabbos in Athens and was instrumental on helping me piece together a 4 part investigation on what happened:


Ben was also interviewed last year in the Ami Magazine, where he talks about losing many clients and friends in the 9/11 attacks and how it changed his life, you can read the full article here.

Ben and his wife, Smadar, have 7 kids.

Obviously this hits home hard for me and many others. I live just a block away from Ben. Boruch’s brother was in my elementary school class in Cleveland.

It will take a miracle for them to get home safely, so please pray for Boruch Taub and Ben Chafetz, ברוך יוסף יחזקאל בן שרח עשקה שרה and בנימין ריאל בן ברכה.

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57 Comments On "[Updated] 2 Members Of Cleveland’s Jewish Community Killed In Small Plane Crash"

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I’m so sorry


How do they know it crashed if they haven’t located it yet ?

Joshua Friedmann

HaShem should send a Yeshua.

Mr G

They just found the plane


I went to HS with Boruch. If you looked up “Mench” in dictionary you would see a picture of him. He was the best of us, BD’H……


So did I.we were very close in elementary school and high school. He absolutely was the exemplar of good middos. Hard to believe he’s gone.


Hashem yerachem
Saying tehilim




BDE. So sad. Seems like exemplary people.

Ain Yiush

Seems as the reporter being quoted from was wrong on some facts earlier in this story Lets not give up.



Liam K. Nuj

Boruch Dayan HaEmes
ברוך דיין האמת


I did Tashlich at Ben’s house this year with my family :'(

Baruch dayen ha’emes.


BDE. I never met either of these people. But I will now learn something as an iluy for their neshama.
If anyone can post their father’s name for others who would like to do so as well.


Just a suggestion. Daf Yomi starting new masechta this coming week.



Asher Anchel Yakov

BD’H, Neshama Shall Have an Aliya


Bde so tragic .
Thanks Dan for your update done with sensitivity.

Laurie Schreiber


Rabbi Mendel Hendel

Baruch dayan haemes, so sad and shocking, condolences to the family.
Ben was very special person which I got to know during the famous Shabbat in Athens and kept in touch since, he was a person that really cared for others and a person of action, he was very instrumental in making the Athens Mikvah a reality, we will miss him very much.


Baruch Dayan Emes
Ben was an amazing person. Terrible loss for his family and all of us. While I don’t know Baruch I have no doubt on the company of Ben he was righteous. Oy, may their families be comforted.


Baruch has a most beautiful family and a wife who is a tzadeikes. May their family have a nechama. Baruch dayan haemes.

Baruch Dayan HaEmet

May their families know no more pain or trauma. And may Techiyat HaMeitim be as real as we’ve always been promised.

Korina Nadel

במהרה בימינו אמן


Can you please post levaya and shiva information when it becomes available?


Was he the pilot that would fly Rabbi Brog from Clevland?




ברוך דיין האמת. So sorry for the loss. I never let them but something about that message just made me think so much about them.


Why would you plug your own articles in this article? Seems like a weird time to link to other posts on your website


I appreciated reading more about a special person. Thank @dan for including it. Bd’e


went to HS wirh Baruch. a wonderful person his neshama should have an aliyah. bde.

Ricky Holder Adler

יהי זכרם ברוך
ברוך דיין האמת


Boruch a”h was a talmid of mine at the Hebrew Academy. Heart of gold. Bd”e


Statistically small planes crash a whole lot , i wouldn’t go on one


Now is not the time to discuss it. Everyone should be comforted

Moses Schwartz

It is time small plans kill you taken a chance same here how many times I was offered to come along with a piper. Never I’d rather drive or fly commercial any one qho flys small single eng planes it’s. Ushmartem meoid


Can you recommend the cheapest flight with points from newark to cleveland for the shiva? Ultimate rewards? or from american express?

Do this route all the time

Only United flies EWR-CLE. Will leave it up to Dan for best miles.

shmulies neighbor

Aeroplan 6k each way, if available.


Aeroplan the way to go.


You guys just killed a great deal for everyone, yesterday Airplane still had available 6k a way now its gone….


If you look at flight radar why did he go around westchester airport when he could have made a left turn and landed on the runway with the plane still working?


Now is not the time to discuss it. Everyone should be comforted


There are many different factors like altitude, approach path, wind direction and emergency landing check list etc. to take into account when performing an emergency landing. Flightradar24 relies mostly on ADS-B for info, which is not known to be very accurate.


The plane was far too high at that point. Also, he was following ATC instructions to land at runway 16. The right way to do that was to make a series of left hand turns while descending, with the final “left hand turn to base” leaving the plane lined up with the runway. You can see that more clearly here: https://twitter.com/AviationSafety/status/1616364361290846208/photo/1 He was so close. ברוך דיין האמת

Moses Schwartz

What kind of questions the weather was bad visible was horrible and he lost engin so that means he was gliding this how hashem wanted he should of never traveled that day bad weather




So sad….
Moshiach now!!


So sadden by the lost even tho I do not know them.


I believe there’s a Chuva from Reb Moshe that says you must , at least, double the time it takes to get to your destination on Erev Shabbos. He was talking there about driving to the Catskills on Friday morning. Who on earth would risk an international flight erev Shabbos and only leave five hours to spare has no one else to blame but himself. I think , lying pilot not withstanding, has zero do with it as everyone know ElAl is not friendly to the Frum community in general and requesting an unauthorized unplanned non emergency stopover is essentially trying to hijack a plane. Try submitting this to Rabbi Yair Hoffman and see what you get. Lastly , I venture to say this played out in the media as a big Chillul on top of it.


Very powerful, we lost a legend.