Photo Credit: YouTube screenshot
Firefighter Kenny Specht

Kenny Specht, 47, who was accused of calling Gayle and Gabriel Sassoon, an Orthodox Jewish couple that had lost seven kids in a Brooklyn fire “dirty bastards,” was nominated to head the Uniformed Firefighters Association, the Post reported Wednesday.

According to the Post, Kenny Specht wrote on March 21, 2015, shortly after the Sassoon’s home in Midwood had been consumed by a fire that killed seven of their eight children: “7 kids dead and mom and dad alive? Dirty bastards.”


Specht was a 9/11 first respondent and later collaborated with Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart to promote the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act which provides health monitoring and financial aid to the first responders of the September 11 attacks. It is named after NYPD officer James Zadroga, whose death was linked to exposures from the World Trade Center disaster.

Isaac Abraham, a Brooklyn community leader who helped the Sassoons after their tragedy, told the Post about Specht, “I really don’t know how such an idiotic and racist man could run for dog-catcher, let alone to represent firefighters.”

Specht is an equal opportunity racist, apparently. The Post noted that in 2015 he wrote about Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro: “Amazing the level of reverse discrimination against white males currently taking place in Nigro’s fire dept.”



  1. As a Jewish mother and a paramedic veteran of the EMS field I do not see this statement alone as anti-Semitic. We see just a small snippet here and if there were more to it I would revisit my interpretation.
    Sadly I have been too many times involved with a scene where children had died and they are the worst. We in the medical & first responder field deal differently and say emotionally charged things. I have even been guilty of anger and prematurely saying something I later regretted myself.
    I feel what this man said was a coping mechanism in the wake of having to remove the charred bodies of 7 dead children from a burned out building. AGAIN, if he had used any other term along with this directed at the parent’s religious belief, then yes that would be a racial slur and he should be labeled as such.
    I am not supporting him, I unfortunately have been in his shoes and have been guilty of saying things out of the anger of the moment when innocent lives were lost. I am also the granddaughter of Jewish immigrants who came to America to escape persecution in Europe and the Holocaust. So I see both sides of this and am trying to judge fairly on just the portion shown in this article.
    This is a horrible tragedy that these parents have to live with for the rest of their lives and are I am sure are dealing with survivor guilt. They need our love and continued prayers. I am sorry they had to hear this man’s words in the mist of that nightmare, yet again as a Jewish woman I do not see that comment alone as a racist comment about us as Jews.

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