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October 11, 2016 7:49 am

Rabbi Attacked in Ukraine Airlifted to Israel in ‘Serious But Stable’ Condition

avatar by Rachel Frommer

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Rabbi Menachem Mendel Deitsch. Photo: Courtesy.

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Deitsch. Photo: Courtesy.

The Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi who was recently found badly beaten in the central train station of a Ukrainian town was airlifted Friday to an Israeli hospital for treatment, the Lubavitch community news site reported Saturday night.

According to the report, Rabbi Mendel Deitsch was taken to Tel Hashomer Hospital in Ramat Gan in serious but stable condition. His injuries remain life-threatening.

Deitsch was found unconscious and critically injured Friday morning in the Zhitomir train station, after what appears to have been a robbery. He was immediately taken to a Ukrainian hospital, where Rabbi Shlomo Wilhelm, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Zhitomir, told, “the best doctors were called in from Kiev” to perform emergency surgery.

Deitsch’s family worked together with the Israeli government and emergency-services organizations to arrange an airlift to Jerusalem.

Wilhelm told, “It should be noted that this is an unusual case that does not in any way reflect on the community in Ukraine,” and said that the attack does not appear to have been motivated by antisemitism.

Deitsch, who holds dual French-Israeli citizenship, is a central organizer of hospitality and programming at the burial site of Chabad founder Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, in Haditch, Ukraine, where Deitsch is believed to have spent Rosh Hashanah.

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