A gang of burglars who broke into a Chabad house in Nairobi, Kenya and assaulted a couple working there as emissaries, caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage during the home invasion, a relative says, but left the couple’s children unharmed.
In a predawn home invasion early Wednesday morning, a gang of five burglars broke into the Chabad house in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi where Rabbi Shmuel Notik, an Israeli native, and his wife, Chaya Notik, live.
During the break-in, the gang assaulted both Rabbi Notik and his wife, and stole thousands of dollars-worth of property, including cell phones, jewelry, cash, passports, and computers.
Moshe Notik, Rabbi Shmuel Notik’s brother, said that his brother had suffered light injuries during the attack, but that his sister-in-law, Chaya, was listed in moderate condition and required surgery after suffering head injuries.
“The gang of burglars broke into the Chabad house after they had managed to overpower the local guards,” Moshe Notik said.”
“The burglars found two yeshiva students at the Chabad house, and bound their arms and legs and gagged them with cloth.”
Moshe said that despite the violent attacks on his brother and sister-in-law, the burglars did not attack the couple’s three children.
“They began to beat the rabbi’s wife, Chaya, with clubs. She woke up from sleep and started to scream, so the burglars beat her until she was bloodied up. They also threatened to kill her while making anti-Semitic references. ‘If you keep resisting, your life will be ended,’ they said. ‘Where is the money?’”
The burglars also tied up Rabbi Notik, Moshe added.
“They bound his arms and legs and tried to get money from him. During the burglary, they stole computers, cellular phones, phylacteries, jewelry, money, a Hanukkah menorah, candle holders, Kiddush cups, food, and things from the kitchen. They also trashed the house.”
At the end of the incident, the Notiks and their three children were forced into the bathroom, where they were left locked inside until police came.
“They’re in a state of shock,” continued Moshe Notik. “As far as they can tell, the burglary was motivated by anti-Semitism. They estimated that the total losses incurred total in the tens of thousands of dollars.”
The local Israeli consul general is in contact with the family, the Israeli foreign ministry said. The ministry added that it viewed the incident as a criminal matter, and that local authorities were handling the investigation.
In 2014, Rabbi Notik was robbed at knife-point in a Nairobi street. He managed to escape unscathed after giving the robbers his prayer book, shofar, and lapel pin.