A rabbi who was stabbed eight times last week blasted his attacker as a ‘terrorist,’ and the stabbing as ‘a terror attack,’ as police investigate it as a possible hate crime.
Around 1.20pm Thursday, Rabbi Shlomo Noginski was on his cell phone outside a Jewish day school in Boston where more than 100 children were attending summer camp, when Khaled Awad, 24, approached him with a gun.
Speaking to i24 News in Tel Aviv, Noginski said Awad demanded he open his car.
‘When the terrorist approached me, he threatened me with a gun and asked me to open the car,’ said Noginski, a teacher and rabbi at the Shaloh House in Boston, according to the New York Post.
‘I thought that maybe this was a robbery, but then I offered him the keys to my car,’ he continued. ‘I offered him them once or twice [saying] “take the keys.”‘
But Noginski said, Awad then told him to get in the car, at which point he thought he was being kidnapped and realized ‘this is a terror attack.’
Rabbi Shlomo Noginksi was stabbed eight times and was later rushed to hospital where he needed surgery to treat the wounds
24-year-old Khaled Awad was led into court on Friday for his arraignment in Brighton District Court. He was charged with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, and assault and battery on a police officer
‘I ran away from the school, where there were many children,’ Noginski recounted, saying the pursuit lasted about five to seven minutes before he was stabbed in the arm multiple times at a nearby park.
Police officers found Noginski, who moved to Boston from Israel, at the park suffering from ‘multiple stab wounds’, Boston Police Department said in a statement. He was rushed to a local hospital with ‘non-life threatening injuries’.
Awad, an Egyptian nationalist, was arrested. He was arraigned Friday, charged with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, and assault and battery on an officer. Awad will be held without bail until a hearing on Thursday.
Images shared on social media appear to show Noginksi grimacing in pain as a police officer tries so stem the bleeding from his left arm. Noginksi’s white shirt is covered in splotches of blood.
Hours later, another image was shared from the hospital showing Noginski lying on a bed with cuts on his fingers and arms.
Speaking to i24 News, Noginski said it is a miracle that he survived. ‘I would like to say thank God,’ he said. ‘A miracle, a great miracle happened to me.
‘He only managed to stab me eight times in my arm and my limbs, but it could have been much worse,’ the rabbi said. ‘I feel relatively great, and I thank God for the miracle.’
Noginski also told i24 News that he has received a warm reaction from the community, and the Shaloh House has seen a resurgence in attendance since his attack.
Sources told WHDV that Noginski was wearing a yarmulke at the time of the attack, which was caught on CCTV.
‘As a result of such an assault, we become stronger,’ Noginski said. ‘We are not ashamed of being Jewish. We are not ashamed to wear the yarmulke. We’re not shamed to dress as Jews.’
He added that he hoped this is a one-time incident.
As soon as staff became aware of the situation outside the Shaloh House, the facility went into lockdown, Rabbi Dan Rodkin, the Executive Director of Shaloh House said in a statement.
Speaking from hospital, Noginski 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.’
A bloodied Rabbi Shlomo Noginksi gets treated for his multiple stab wounds after an alleged kidnapping attempt on Thursday
Police officers arrived at the scene to find Rabbi Noginski suffering from stab wounds. Pictured: Officers at the scene
Rabbi Noginski, who is a teacher and Rabbi at the Shaloh House, was reportedly sitting outside the synagogue (pictured: file image) talking on his cell phone when the suspect launched his attack on him
Boston police are now investigating the stabbing as a potential hate crime, the Post reports.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) New England has said there are ‘multiple indicators pointing towards antisemitism’ and called for the police to investigate the incident as a hate crime. Noginski’s family and community leaders said he was targeted in the attack because he is Jewish.
And one of Awad’s former friends at the University of South Florida, Eric Valiente, told CBS Boston that Awad was ‘violent’ and ‘anti-Semitic.’
‘He started becoming violent,’ Valiente said. ‘He was very much anti-Semitic. He would say like all types of Jewish jokes. I thought he was joking at first and then I started to see seriousness in his comments.’
Aidan Anderson, a former roommate of Awad’s who is Jewish, also told CBS News that he ended up moving out and had to obtain a restraining order last fall when Awad attacked him in their shared kitchen.
Awad will be taken into ICE custody once criminal proceedings are complete, as ICE agents have determined he lost his legal status on May 14.
‘Khaled Awad, 24, a citizen of Egypt, entered the United States on a student visa in August 2019,’ an ICE spokesman told Fox News. ‘However, he failed to stay enrolled as required by law, resulting in a loss of legal status in the U.S on May 14, 2021.’
Steve Sass and Zoe Golub-Sass attend a unity rally in Boston’s Brighton neighborhood, near the site of the stabbing attack in broad daylight on Rabbi Sholom Noginski the previous day The suspect is in custody and the attack will be investigated as a hate crime
Members of the community attend a vigil for Rabbi Shlomo Noginski, who was stabbed outside a Jewish day school on Thursday, at Brighton Common park, in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston
Natasha and Eric Bakke attend a unity rally in Boston, near the site of the stabbing attack
Rodkin said he and the staff ‘are all very shaken’ by the attack and asked the public to keep Noginski in their prayers for a speedy recovery, while adding that Shaloh House would be increasing its security for the rest of the summer.
Dov Hikind, a former New York state assemblyman and founder of the grassroots coalition Americans Against Antisemitism, told Fox News he spoke with Noginski’s brother, who said the rabbi is 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.’
Hikind said anti-Israel rhetoric has contributed to a rise in anti-Semitic attacks and singled out Democrat Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib for their comments.
Omar has been accused of being a ‘rabid anti-Semite’ for saying her Jewish colleagues in Congress ‘haven’t been equal partners in justice’ and defending her comments equating the U.S. and Israel to terrorist groups like Hamas and the Taliban.
While police have not revealed details about what motivated the attack, others are also concerned that Noginski was attacked because of his religion.
The ADL has said there are ‘multiple indicators pointing toward antisemitism’ and called for the police to investigate the incident as a hate crime.
‘Facts emerging from the stabbing of a Rabbi in Brighton yesterday include multiple indicators pointing towards antisemitism,’ said Robert Trestan, Regional Director of Anti-Defamation League in a statement on Friday.
‘We call on the Boston Police Department Civil Rights Unit to investigate yesterday’s violent attack as a hate crime. Boston’s Jewish community is angry, living in fear and need answers, accountability and security.’
Members of Boston’s Jewish, faith, police and political communities gathered for a unity vigil to condemn the stabbing attack on Boston Rabbi Sholom Noginski
As soon as staff became aware of the situation outside the building, where a summer day camp was being held for children, the facility went into lockdown to ensure their safety, Rabbi Dan Rodkin, the Executive Director of Shaloh House, pictured, explained in a statement
Rabbi Shlomo Noginksi was attacked on the street outside Shaloh House, a Jewish Day School and synagogue on Chestnut Hill Avenue in Brighton, at around 1.20pm on Thursday afternoon
Rodkin said in a statement on Thursday: ‘Earlier today, Rabbi Shlomo Noginski was attacked on the street outside the Shaloh House.
‘He is, thank God, in stable condition and in good spirits and being treated in the hospital for stab wounds.’
He continued: ‘As soon as our staff became aware of what happened outside, our facility went into lock down to ensure the safety of all the children and staff in our program. At no point during the incident were any of the children in danger.
‘The safety of our children and staff is of the utmost importance to us and we will be increasing security at the Shaloh House throughout the remainder of the summer.’
‘We are all very shaken by what happened and ask for you to please keep Rabbi Noginski in your prayers for a… speedy and complete recovery.
‘We are heartened by the outpouring of concern and compassion we have received in just the last hours since the incident.’
A knife and gun were found in a nearby alley where police arrested Awad, reports WCVB.
Yaacov Behrman, the founder of the Jewish Future Alliance, an advocacy charity for those in the Jewish community and other minority groups, tweeted: ‘I spoke to Rabbi Shlomo Noginsky from the hospital.
‘He was in terrible pain, but said he was inspired by the tremendous amount of love and support from the community.’
Rabbi Aryeh Spero, the president of the Conference of Jewish Affairs, told Fox News the attack was not the only one.
‘There is a climate of more than just anti-Semitism,’ he said. ‘It’s physical attacks with the intent of killing people who are Jewish. Conspicuously Jewish. And that just doesn’t come out of thin air.’
The investigation into the attack is ongoing. Anyone with information should contact District D-14 Detectives at 617-343-4256.
For community members wishing to contact the police anonymously about the investigation, police urged them to call the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463).