A violent robbery at the Chabad House in Nairobi has left the female Chabad emissary to the Kenyan capital hospitalised and her husband lightly injured, Israeli media said.
Chaya Notik was said to have required surgery after being beaten by men who entered the building described as the local Chabad house early on Wednesday morning.
They are said to have stolen tens of thousands of dollars worth of computers, phones, passports, jewellery and religious items.
But sources with knowledge of Chabad told the JC that reports attackers making antisemitic remarks as they carried out the assault were untrue.
It is also unclear if Mrs Notik’s injuries required hospital treatment.
The group of five robbers reportedly tied up two yeshiva students who were sleeping in the house — one of whom was Mrs Notik’s brother — who were in Nairobi to help the local Jewish community during Passover.
When Rabbi Shmuel Notik attempted to call the police, they threatened to harm his family if he did not cooperate.
They then beat both Rabbi Notik and his wife with clubs, demanding money from them, before the couple were able to escape and lock themselves and their three children in a bathroom until the police arrived.
Speaking to local news outlets in Kenya, Rabbi Notik confirmed that his wife had been injured but that she was now “being treated well.”
He also said that all the others in the house at the time of the violent robbery — the two yeshiva students and his children — were “suffering from trauma” but “weren’t badly hurt.”
It is understood that police suspect that the robbers were working with the security personnel hired to protect the Chabad building.
The Notiks, who are Israeli, have been serving as emissaries — “shluchim” — in Kenya since 2014.
Israel’s consul in Kenya, Michael Bouzaglo, has been in touch with the rabbi and his family, stating that he will help as much as possible.
The Friends of Chabad House charity will reportedly be fundraising to cover the costs of the damage, the medical attention required by the Notiks and to upgrade the house’s security.