A Chabad rabbi was attacked and stabbed multiple times outside a Jewish center in Boston on Thursday in an apparent antisemitic attack. He was hospitalized in stable condition.
Rabbi Shlomo Noginski was attacked while outside Shaloh House, a Chabad institute for Russian-speaking Jews in the Brighton neighborhood, Chabad.org reported.
The report said a man approached Noginski, who was outside talking on his phone. He drew a gun and told Noginski to take him to his car. When he tried to force him inside, Noginski tried to flee and the man stabbed him repeatedly.
Rabbi Dan Rodkin, the executive director of the Shaloh House, said Noginski was stabbed eight times.
A Boston Police Department spokesperson said the victim was stabbed outside the building that houses the school and synagogue on Chestnut Hill Street in Brighton at 1:19 p.m.
The attacker was apprehended by police, who later identified him as Khaled Awad, 24. He has been charged with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and assault and battery on a police officer.
BREAKING: Chabad rabbi in Boston viciously stabbed by gun-wielding assailant.
Motive and identity of suspect remain unknown. pic.twitter.com/iUIoKa5HxP
— Dov Hikind (@HikindDov) July 1, 2021
Police said they were stepping up patrols at nearby synagogues and Jewish sites.
Police did not provide details of Awad’s motivation or immediately classify the attack as a hate crime. However, local Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley said it appeared to be antisemitic.
“While we await further details & pray for his recovery, let me say plainly that all of our neighbors deserve to live free from fear. Antisemitism is a clear and persistent threat to our communities,” tweeted Pressley.
Pressley is a member of the so-called Squad of progressive Democratic lawmakers, including Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, who have been accused of leading an anti-Israel charge in the party. Omar has also frequently been accused of antisemitism.
Robert Trestan, New England regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, called for transparency in the investigation.
He said the attack had “sent a shockwave of fear and anxiety throughout the community.”
“As this investigation unfolds, we call for full transparency so that the community gets answers as to why a rabbi was stabbed outside of his house of worship,” Trestan said.
Today's attack on a rabbi in #BrightonMA has sent a shockwave of fear & anxiety throughout the community. As this investigation unfolds, we call for full transparency so that the community gets answers as to why a rabbi was stabbed outside of his house of worship. pic.twitter.com/w6NwxKpuqV
— ADL New England (@ADL_NewEngland) July 1, 2021
The incident occurred at a time that a summer camp was taking place in the building.
Chabad said most campers were off-site, while others were safely in the building at the time of the attack. The institution briefly went into lockdown.
“When a rabbi is stabbed in a Jewish neighborhood in the middle of the day, it sends shockwaves of fear,” said Trestan. “This area where it occurred, there are hundreds of people who are working, living, going to school. There are summer camps in close proximity. It sends a sense of fear.”
Recent months have seen a surge in antisemitic incidents across the US, particularly following the 11-day conflict between Israel and terror groups in the Gaza Strip in May.
Israel’s Consul General in Boston Meron Reuben told the Boston Herald that Noginski was an Israeli citizen who had come to Boston for a short period as a Chabad emissary.
“We are horrified by what has happened,” Reuben said. “We are very concerned, and we are following the situation very diligently.”