Chabad Rabbi Who Was Airlifted to Israel After Being Beaten in Ukraine Dies

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The Jewish Institute in the Ukrainian city of Zhitomir.
The Jewish Institute in the Ukrainian city of Zhitomir.Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Rabbi Mendel Deitsch, who was in a coma after being severely beaten in the central train station of the Ukrainian city of Zhitomir in October, has died, aged 64, a Jewish organization said Sunday.

Deitsch's condition deteriorated in the weeks leading up to his death on Saturday, the Chabad movement said. 

Deitsch, who had been a Chabad emissary in France, worked to strengthen Jewish life in the former Soviet Union for years, according to the Chabad website.

Deitsch was found on October 7 after he was beaten and robbed. He was treated in Ukraine for multiple head injuries and brain trauma before being airlifted to a hospital in Israel for treatment shortly afterwards.

Four suspects were arrested in connection with the attack, which according to a family member, was not an anti-Semitic act.

Deitsch had actively helped organize pilgrimages to the burial site of Chabad's founder in the Ukrainian town of Haditch, where he had spent the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, before the attack.

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