Canadian Jewish official unconscious after attack

OTTOWA (JTA) — The national president of Canadian Hadassah-WIZO remains unconscious after she was attacked Feb. 28 while vacationing in Barbados.

Terry Schwarzfeld, 60, is breathing on her own but is still unconscious, according to the organization’s executive director, Alina Ianson.

Schwarzfeld, who became the group’s national president last November, and her daughter-in-law Luana Cotsman were severely beaten.

According to reports, the pair were walking on an isolated stretch of beach when they were approached by a man demanding money. When they said they had nothing to give him, he attacked them with a piece of wood.

Both women were knocked unconscious, but Cotsman recovered at the scene. Schwarzfeld was taken to a local hospital and later airlifted to Ottawa, where doctors are attempting to reduce swelling and internal bleeding in her brain.

Schwarzfeld is a well-known and longtime volunteer. She worked as executive director of one of Ottawa’s largest synagogues, Agudath Israel Congregation.

Ianson said police in Barbados have reported leads in the case but have yet to make an arrest.

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