A rabbi was stabbed eight times outside a Boston synagogue on Thursday by a man who allegedly tried to kidnap him because he was Jewish.
Rabbi Shlomo Noginksi was attacked on the street outside Shaloh House, a Jewish Day School and synagogue on Chestnut Hill Avenue in Brighton, at around 1.19pm on Thursday afternoon.
Boston Police Department have since arrested Khaled Awad, 24, of Brighton, on suspicion of carrying out the stabbing on the father-of-12.
Rabbi Noginski, who is a teacher and rabbi at the Shaloh House, was reportedly sat outside talking on his cell phone when the suspect launched his attack on him.
Awad allegedly approached the rabbi, drew a firearm and attempted to force him in the car and kidnap him, reports Chabad. But Rabbi Noginski struggled and attempted to run across the street where the suspect stabbed him in the arm multiple times.
The rabbi’s family believe he was targeted in the attack because he is Jewish, reports Fox News.
Rabbi Shlomo Noginksi was stabbed eight times and was later rushed to hospital where he needed surgery to treat the wounds
Police officers arrived at the scene to find Rabbi Noginski suffering from stab wounds. Pictured: Officers at the scene
Police officers arrived at the scene to find Rabbi Noginski, who moved to Boston from Israel, suffering from ‘multiple stab wounds’, Boston Police Department said in a statement. He was later rushed to a local hospital where he was treated for ‘non-life threatening injuries’.
Police have not yet said whether they are treating the attack as a hate crime, nor have they disclosed a motive for the attack.
As soon as staff became aware of the situation outside the building, where a summer day camp was being held for children, the facility went into lockdown to ensure their safety, Rabbi Dan Rodkin, the Executive Director of Shaloh House said in a statement.
Images shared on social media appear to show Rabbi Noginksi grimacing in pain as a Boston police officer tries so stem the bleeding from a stab wound to the victim’s left arm. His white shirt can be seen covered in splotches of blood.
Hours later, another image was shared from the hospital which showed Rabbi Noginski lying on a bed while looking at the camera. Cuts can be seen on his fingers and arms.
Speaking from his hospital bed, Rabbi Noginski told Lubavitch.com : ‘I am grateful to the Boston Police Department for their rapid response, and relieved that the perpetrator is in custody. I am looking forward to returning to my work as soon as possible.’
Rabbi Shlomo Noginksi was attacked on the street outside Shaloh House, a Jewish Day School and synagogue on Chestnut Hill Avenue in Brighton, at around 1.19pm on Thursday afternoon
Rabbi Rodkin said he and the staff ‘are all very shaken’ by the attack and asked the public to keep Rabbi Noginski in their prayers for a speedy recovery, while adding that Shaloh House would be increasing their security for the rest of the summer.
Dov Hikind, a former New York state assemblyman and founder of the grassroots coalition Americans Against Antisemitism, told Fox News he spoke with Rabbi Noginsky’s brother, who said the rabbi is expected to undergo surgery for eight stab wounds.
Hikind said the rabbi’s family believe he was targeted because he is Jewish.
‘Based on my conversation with his brother (he) believes the guy wanted to kidnap him,’ he said. ‘The perpetrator was not interested in his money, not interested in his cell phone, was not interested in anything except to attack this individual.’
Hikind said anti-Israel rhetoric has contributed to a rise in anti-Semitic attacks and singled out Democrat Representatives Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib for their comments.
Rep. Ilhan Omar has been accused of being a ‘rabid anti-Semite’ for saying her Jewish colleagues in Congress ‘haven’t been equal partners in justice’ and defending her comments equating the U.S. and Israel to terrorist groups like Hamas and the Taliban.
Rabbi Rodkin said in a statement: ‘Earlier today, Rabbi Shlomo Noginski was attacked on the street outside the Shaloh House.
‘He is, thank God, in stable condition and in good spirits and being treated in the hospital for stab wounds.’
Rabbi Noginski, who is a teacher and Rabbi at the Shaloh House, was reportedly sat outside the synagogue (pictured: file image) talking on his cell phone when the suspect launched his attack on him
He continued: ‘As soon as our staff became aware of what happened outside, our facility went into lock down to ensure the safety of all the children and staff in our program. At no point during the incident were any of the children in danger.
‘The safety of our children and staff is of the utmost importance to us and we will be increasing security at the Shaloh House throughout the remainder of the summer.’
‘We are all very shaken by what happened and ask for you to please keep Rabbi Noginski in your prayers for a… speedy and complete recovery.
‘We are heartened by the outpouring of concern and compassion we have received in just the last hours since the incident.’
The police department said that Awad, who is from Brighton, has been arrested and will appear in Brighton District Court on charges of Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon and Assault and Battery on a police officer.
There has been an outpouring of support from the local community, with many wishing Rabbi Noginsky a speedy recovery.
Yaacov Behrman, the founder of The Jewish Future Alliance, an advocacy charity for those in the Jewish community and other minority groups, tweeted: ‘I spoke to Rabbi Shlomo Noginsky from the hospital.
‘He was in terrible pain, but said he was inspired by the tremendous amount of love and support from the community.’
Rabbi Aryeh Spero, the president of the Conference of Jewish Affairs, told Fox News the attack was not the only one.
‘There is a climate of more than just anti-Semitism,’ he said. ‘It’s physical attacks with the intent of killing people who are Jewish. Conspicuously Jewish. And that just doesn’t come out of thin air.’
The investigation into the attack is ongoing, police said, adding that anyone with information should contact District D-14 Detectives at 617-343-4256.
For community members wishing to contact the police anonymously about the investigation, police urged them to call the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463).