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Shooting victim leads prayer at Chabad envoys conference

(JTA) — A  rabbi who survived an anti-Semitic shooting in Russia led a prayer at the annual gathering of Chabad’s emissaries in New York.

Rabbi Ovadia Isakov from the Russian republic of Dagestan led the prayer on Oct. 31, the first day of the weeklong International Conference of Shluchim and Shluchos of the Chabad movement, according to the Russian news agency Interfax. Thousands of emissaries posted in communities around the world take part in the annual conference.

In July, assailants shot Isakov in front of his house in the city of Derbent late at night and left him for dead. He was rushed to surgery in Israel, where he has slowly recovered from his near-fatal lung injury.

In September, Russian government officials said counterterrorist forces killed Sherif Akhmedov, the man responsible for Isakov’s shooting. They said Akhmedov was part of a simmering Islamist insurgency in Dagestan, the predominantly Muslim Russian republic where Derbent is located, and had an “extremist worldview.”

Isakov told JTA that he intended to return with his wife and four children to Derbent in the near future.

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