(RNS) – A rabbi who taught at a Jewish day school in Brighton, a neighborhood of Boston, was stabbed eight times in the arm Thursday (July 1) by an attacker carrying a fake gun and a knife.
Rabbi Shlomo Noginski was taken to Boston Medical Center and is being treated for non-life threatening injuries, according to Chabad.org.
The suspect in the attack, 24-year-old Khaled Awad, was apprehended by police shortly afterward. He was charged with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a police officer and attempted robbery. No motive was given.
Noginski, an emissary for Chabad-Lubavitch, the Hasidic Jewish organization, was teaching at a summer day camp at Shaloh House, a Jewish school for grades K through 6 that serves the Russian-Jewish immigrant community. The rabbi was born in Russia but holds Israeli citizenship.
Noginski was talking on his cell phone outside the school around 1 p.m. when the suspect approached him, drew what appeared to be a gun and asked the rabbi to take him to his car. When the suspect attempted to force Noginski into the car, Noginski ran across the street to a park where the suspect stabbed him. The school was placed on lockdown, but no campers were near the site of the attack.
Hasidic rabbis have been targets of multiple attacks in recent years. In 2019, a masked man wielding a large knife invaded the home of a Hasidic rabbi in Monsey, New York, where a Hanukkah party was underway, and began stabbing the guests.
Earlier that year, a gunman opened fire at a Chabad synagogue in Poway, California, north of San Diego. A 60-year-old woman was killed. A rabbi was shot in the hand and two other people were left with shrapnel wounds.
More recently, there has been a spate of violent attacks on Hasidic Jews in New York City.
These Jews who wear religious clothing such as yarmulkes, black suits and hats are more easily identifiable as members of the strictly Orthodox Jewish mystical movement.
A regional director of the Anti-Defamation League said it was too soon to know the motive for the attack.
“Let’s find out what happened here,” Robert Trestan, New England ADL director, told the Boston Herald. “It’s really important for us to let Boston Police do what they do best, and let’s get the answers. Right now the community is looking for answers as he makes a recovery.”