BOSTON (WHDH) – Boston Rabbi Shlomo Noginksi is recovering in the hospital after being stabbed several times outside of an Hasidic center in Brighton Thursday.
Rabbi Dan Rodkin is the director of the Shaloh home, a Jewish day school along Chestnut Hill Avenue near where police say the attack happened around 1 p.m.
“What happened, he was sitting here at the steps and talking on the phone when the attacker came to him, and asked him to open the car,” Rodkin said.
That is when Rodkin said the alleged assailant, later identified as Khaled Awad, 24, of Brighton, took out a gun and tried to force Noginski into his own car. Fearing he might be abducted, the rabbi ran to the park across the street.
“Attacker tried to hit him dozens of times. Rabbi Shlomo was able to wrestle with him, he had about eight stabs in the arm and shoulder,” Rodkin said.
Sources say Noginski teaches at the summer program, and he was wearing a yarmulke at the time of the incident. The attack was caught on surveillance video, the source said.
The Shaloh home went into a temporary lockdown, as a group of campers was inside at the time of the incident. The group consisted of children ranging from 3-year-olds to sixth graders, a 7NEWS source said. None were injured.
The father of 12 was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to Boston Police Sgt. John T. Boyle. Rodkin said Noginski was able to defend himself in part because he has a black belt in Judo.
“He’s doing better. He needs a lot of medical help now,” Rodkin said.
Awad was arrested after trying to flee the scene and officers were able to recover a gun and a knife.
There has been no word from investigators on what they believe the motive for the attack was. He is due to 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.
Noginskis’ fellow rabbis say the Jewish community is shaken but will come together and lean on their faith.
We can share light and dispel darkness,” Rabbi Ilan Meyers said. “We seek to continue to convey that message, especially in a situation of darkness such as this. For everyone out there, to do acts of kindness, call up someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, just be kind to your neighbor. And for the Jewish people out there, be proud that you are a Jew.”
A community gathering has been planned in response to the attack for Friday morning on Brighton Common.
“This terrible crime underscores the sense of vulnerability that many in the Jewish community feel today. Anti-Jewish activism has become a viral menace. We are grateful to the Boston Police Department for apprehending the alleged perpetrator of this crime. Whether or not it is determined to have been a hate crime, it is a clear reminder of the mounting peril many of us feel today,” AJC New England Regional Director Rob Leikind wrote in a statement. He said they are praying for the Rabbi.
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