Chabad rabbi, wife assaulted in violent robbery in Nairobi

Though authorities were reportedly treating the incident as a random criminal act, the thieves shouted anti-Semitic insults at the wife.

By World Israel News Staff

A Chabad rabbi and his wife serving as emissaries in Nairobi for the worldwide religious organization have been injured in a violent robbery at their Jewish community center and synagogue in the Kenyan capital, Ynet reported. The attack took place as Jews celebrate the Passover holiday.

The wife, Chaya Notik, was hospitalized in moderate condition, according to the Israeli news website. Though local law enforcement authorities were reportedly treating the incident as a random criminal act, the thieves shouted anti-Semitic insults at her as she was assaulted with sticks, according to the report.

She escaped to the bathroom with her children and locked the door behind her, remaining there until police arrived, Ynet reported.

The rabbi, Shmuel Notik, was lightly hurt, Ynet said. He was reportedly beaten after he tried calling police, and the assailants threatened to harm other members of the family if he did not cooperate.

The robbery took place during the early hours of Wednesday morning. Computers, passports, food, and religious items worth thousands of dollars were reported stolen.

Two yeshiva students who were present had their arms and legs bound with rope and a cloth tied around their mouths by the robbers to prevent them from calling for help, according to the report.

There is a high rate of crime in all regions of Kenya, especially in Nairobi,  Mombasa, Kisumu, and coastal beach resorts, according to official figures The most common crime in Kenya is carjacking in order to commit an armed robbery.

Chabad is known for its emissaries and centers in many of the farthest reaches of the world with the objective of enabling religious observance by local Jews and tourists.

The rabbi and his wife began their mission in Nairobi in 2014. Days after their arrival, he reported being mugged when six men armed with knives assaulted him on a dark street.