Both Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries in Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa, Rabbi Shmuel Notik and his wife Chaya, were robbed by a group of five locals overnight Wednesday, at the Chabad House in the city, Chabad Info reported.
The Chabad House in Kenya issued a statement saying the damage caused by the robbery was estimated at tens of thousands of dollars.
When the intruders encountered two youths (one of whom was Mrs. Notik’s brother) who had arrived from Israel to help during Passover and the Seder night. They tied the boys’ hands and feet and taped their mouths.
As soon as Rabbi Notik caught on, he tried to summon the police, at which point the bandits began to beat him and threatened that they would harm him and his family if he did not cooperate and would dare call for help one more time.
The robbers then entered Mrs. Notik’s bedroom, beat her with a stick to wake her up, threatened her life and demanded money, all the while uttering anti-Semitic curses. She managed to escape from them and locked herself with her husband and their children in the bathroom until the police arrived.
The couple was eventually evacuated to a local hospital. Rabbi Notik is in fair condition, but his wife required surgery.
Local police suspect that the Chabad facility’s own security personnel cooperated with the robbers, walked away with religious articles, food, industrial kitchen equipment, computers, passports and mobile phones. The building was also severely damaged.
Chabad House Kenya announced that in addition to the loss of an tens of thousands of dollars, and the damage caused to the building, the facility will incur a considerable financial expense following the medical treatment of the rabbi and his wife, as well as an upgrade of the security at the site.
Friends of Chabad House are planning a large fundraising campaign to raise about $100,000 to cover all the financial damage.
By David Israel