Chigwell rabbi hospitalised after 'unprovoked and cowardly attack'
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A rabbi at the Chigwell and Hainault Synagogue has been hospitalised after an "unprovoked and cowardly" attack in broad daylight which police are investigating as a hate crime.
Rabbi Rafi Goodwin, assistant rabbi at the synagogue, is believed to have been assaulted by two teenagers in Limes Avenue, outside the synagogue around 1.15pm today (Sunday, May 16).
A spokesperson for Essex Police said: "It is believed that two teenagers stepped out in front of the victim's vehicle whilst he was driving, they shouted at him and spoke in a derogatory way about his religion before going on to damage his car.
"When he got out of his car to confront them, he was attacked with an unknown object causing him to require hospital treatment."
There have been no arrests yet and the victim's phone was also stolen during the attack.
The two boys, described as being of Asian ethnicity, are believed to be aged between 15 and 18 years old.
One of the attackers was described as 5ft 9ins tall and wore his hair in an Afro-style and the other was described as being 5ft 7ins tall.
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Both wore black jackets and the latter wore grey tracksuit bottoms.
Council leader Jas Athwal said he was "deeply disturbed" to hear the news of the "unprovoked and cowardly attack."
He said: "As a precautionary measure, police patrols are being increased around synagogues across the borough.
"Redbridge Council has offered all the support we can to the police to bring the perpetrators to justice and ensure the safety of worshippers going forward.
"We are proud of our rich diversity and active faith communities in Redbridge have a long track record of supporting each other.
"If you have any details relating to this unprovoked and cowardly attack, please contact the police, information can be provided confidentially.
"I want to extend my deepest sympathy to Rabbi Rafi during this difficult time and myself, the police and Redbridge Council staff stand ready to support and assist the Chigwell and Hainault Shul.”
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Loughton CID on 101 quoting the crime reference number 42/92174/21.