Rabbi Shlomo Noginksy stabbed by Khaled Awad Boston man in possible hate crime outside Shaloh House. A community rallies as questions are asked.
Khaled Awad, 24, appeared in Brighton District Church on Friday and was charged with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and assault and battery following the unprovoked attack on Rabbi Shlomo Noginksy.
Awad is accused of stabbing Rabbi Noginksi a Russian born man in his 50’s and a father of 12 children, eight times 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 Noginski, a teacher and rabbi at the Shaloh House, was reportedly sitting outside talking on his cell phone when the suspect attacked him.
Awad allegedly approached the rabbi, drew a firearm and attempted to force him in a car and kidnap him, reports Chabad. But Rabbi Noginsky struggled and attempted to run across the street where the suspect stabbed him in the arm multiple times. A knife and gun were allegedly found in a nearby alley where police arrested Awad, reports WCVB.
Who is Khaled Awad?
Prosecutors said Awad who is of Egyptian had no record in Massachusetts, while previously having faced charges of battery and theft in Florida along with being sent to a mental health facility there.
Prosecutors said Awad could face civil rights charges along with criminal charges while saying Awad had been in the United State for four years. Prosecutors did not say whether they thought the man was acting in concert with others or was part of a group, nor whether Awad was known to articulate hate rhetoric previously.
On Friday, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said the DA’s civil rights unit and the Boston Police Department Civil Rights Unit were conducting a civil rights investigation into the alleged assault and would keep the community updated.
‘We have to recognize that anti-Semitism is on the rise and we need to hold people accountable when they do this so that they are made an example of,’ Rollins said.
‘It’s important that we recognize with respect to the Jewish community that not only globally, but locally, they are being terrorized and hate crime is on the rise,’ Rollins added.
Boston’s Mayor Kim Janey said an undertaking was being made to determine whether the attack was a hate crime.
BREAKING: A Jewish Rabbi, Shlomo Noginski, was repeatedly stabbed outside of the Shaloh House Jewish Day School in Brighton today.
Antisemitism is alive. We have to end it! pic.twitter.com/bLSBcxmoMa
— Hananya Naftali (@HananyaNaftali) July 1, 2021
A community shaken and demanding answers
‘It is important that we understand what the motives of this hate, of this violence are,’ Janey said during questioning from reporters. ‘An investigation is underway to determine whether this is a hate crime or not, and we will get the answers we seek.’
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.
Responding to Thursday’s attack, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) New England said there were ‘multiple indicators pointing towards antisemitism’ and called for the police to investigate the incident as a hate crime reported WHDV.
Speaking from his hospital bed, Rabbi Noginsky 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 Rodkin said he and the staff ‘are all very shaken’ by the attack and asked the public to keep Rabbi Noginsky in their prayers for a speedy recovery, while adding that Shaloh House would be increasing their security for the rest of the summer.
Motivated by hate?
Dov Hikind, a former New York state assemblyman and founder of the grassroots coalition Americans Against Antisemitism, told Fox News said the rabbi was 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.’
Khaled Awad will be held without bail until a dangerousness hearing on July 8.
The investigation remains ongoing, police said, adding that anyone with information should contact District D-14 Detectives at 617-343-4256.