A Chabad rabbi shot in the southern Russian state of Dagestan regained consciousness Friday, after undergoing emergency surgery in Israel, the chabad.org website reported.

Rabbi Ovadia Eisekoff, chief rabbi of Derbent was shot in the chest Thursday as he was leaving his car. An unknown assailant opened fire on him, and then fled from the scene.

He was hospitalized in critical condition Thursday, and underwent emergency surgery in Derbent. Hours after his first operation, the rabbi was flown to Israel in a chartered plane, according to chabad.org.

Doctors at Beilinson Hospital, Rabin Medical Center, Petah Tikva, said that emergency surgery on his internal organs went “very well." Medics upgraded his condition to "satisfactory," and he was conscious by Friday evening.

The rabbi was accompanied on his flight to Israel by a team of doctors and paramedics. He was transferred by helicopter from the hospital in Derbent to an airport more than 300 kilometers away.

Eisekoff was attacked when he was returning from performing a ritual slaughter for kosher meat. Local authorities are investigating reports that there were one or three assailants in the attack.

Police suspect the rabbi was targeted because he is Jewish. A manhunt is underway to apprehend the shooter. Russian authorities contacted Eisekoff's wife and four children and briefed them on the details of the investigation.