Redbridge equality group pledges community cohesion after rabbi attack

Essex Police meeting with the Jewish community after a rabbi was assaulted outside the Chigwell and Hainault Synagogue

Police officers have been meeting with Jewish community leaders following the attack on a rabbi outside the Chigwell and Hainault Synagogue. - Credit: Essex Police

A Redbridge equality group has pledged to improve community cohesion after an attack on a rabbi in Chigwell.

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent after Rabbi Rafi Goodwin, assistant rabbi at the Chigwell and Hainault Synagogue, was believed to have been attacked requiring hospitalisation.

Essex Police is investigating the incident, which happened in Limes Avenue on Sunday (May 16) at around 1.15pm, as a hate crime.

On Monday (May 17), the force arrested two men from Ilford, aged 18 and 25, who remain in custody.

Redbridge Equalities and Community Council (RECC), which has been promoting equality and challenging discrimination for more than 50 years, said it was shocked and saddened by the incident.

In a statement, the group said: "We hope to work with all sections of the community to prevent a recurrence of actions of this nature. 

"We will continue in our aim to improve community cohesion and enhance the strength of the diverse community in Redbridge. 

"We wish Rabbi Goodwin a complete recovery and swift return to health."

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The synagogue's chairman Lindsay Shure said it is important for any victims of hate crime to make reports to the police or the Community Security Trust.

He added: “We'd like to thank the police and especially the local community for their fantastic support."

Police engaged with Jewish communities to offer reassurance on Monday, May 17 while they were celebrating Shavuot.

Chief Superintendent Stuart Hooper said: “We have been progressing our enquiries and engaging with local Jewish communities and I want to thank everyone who has spoken to my officers.

“We continue to believe this incident is not related to events taking place overseas or incidents which have taken place elsewhere in the country.”

The police are continuing to appeal for anyone with any information about the incident to come forward.

Anyone with information about this incident, relevant CCTV, dashcam or ring door bell footage – particularly in the areas of Limes Avenue, Tudor Crescent, and Fencepiece Road, is asked to contact Loughton CID on 101 quoting the crime reference number 42/92174/21.

For more information on how to report hate crime or how it's investigated visit https://www.essex.police.uk/hatecrime

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