(JTA) — A Chabad rabbi who was severely beaten at a train station in the western Ukrainian city of Zhitomir was airlifted to Israel by emergency medical transport.
Rabbi Mendel Deitsch is in serious but stable condition at Tel Hashomer Medical Center near Tel Aviv. He had emergency surgery at a hospital in Zhitomir before being airlifted to Israel. His injuries remain life threatening, according to the Chabad website.
Deitsch, a longtime Chabad-Lubavitch emissary in France and more recently in Israel, reportedly was robbed and beaten last week by drunken local youths, Chabad said.
The motive has been described as criminal and not anti-Semitic, according to Rabbi Shlomo Wilhelm, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Zhitomir.
“It should be noted that this is an unusual case that does not in any way reflect on the community in Ukraine,” Wilhelm told Chabad.