NEW YORK (JTA) — An Orthodox man was stabbed multiple times on his walk to synagogue for morning prayers on Nov. 20.
The man was approaching the synagogue, Toshnad Heichel Torah Utfila in Spring Valley, New York, when at least one man got out of a car, began beating him and stabbed him.
The victim was a 29-year-old teacher and father of four young children, the Rockland/Westchester Journal News reported.
The assailant fled the scene before police and first responders arrived, according to Aaron Hershkowitz, an assistant to the synagogue’s rabbi. The incident occurred at approximately 5:40 a.m.
Rockland Hatzolah, an emergency medical service, reached the victim and began treating him. He is undergoing surgery and is in critical condition, Hershkowitz said.
Weidel said that, at this point in the investigation, the police could not classify the incident as a hate crime, as the motivation for the stabbing is still unknown. He said that further investigation could establish it as a hate crime.
Rockland County Legislator Philip Soskin, who is Jewish, said at the press conference that “all of us are very infuriated by what’s going on in our area.”
“Our local police are doing all that they can,” he said. “The community is a residential community. There are many synagogues in the area and it seems very strange that something like this could happen here.”
The Ramapo Police Department said that there will be added police patrols in the area.