By Mendi Toledano, COLlive reporter
A Molotov cocktail was thrown at 2 Chabad Yeshiva students from Israel while visiting New York City on Friday afternoon, COLlive.com was told.
The bochurim were part of a group that took the Subway from Brooklyn to Manhattan to perform the weekly Mivtzoim rounds, helping Jewish business owners and clients to do a Mitzvah.
Yisroel Gedassi and Yosef Rachimi, both 20-year-olds who asked that their surname not be mentioned, were walking on W 37th Street near Ninth Avenue when one of them felt “an agitation.”
“A firebomb was thrown at them,” said a brother of one of the students. “It exploded and there was fire. They were shocked. An Israeli woman was walking by and ran over to check if they were okay.”
“Thank G-d, it missed them and landed on the pavement,” he added. “It was a male that throw it at them but they only got to see his back because he ran away. They didn’t hear him shout or say anything.”
He said they felt grateful for not being directly hit and will be holding a traditional “Seudas Hodaya” (meal of thanksgiving to G-d) this coming week at the Central Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim Lubavitch at 770 Eastern Parkway.
This is the first reported attack on Jews or Israelis in New York since the recent escalation of violence by Arabs in Israel. Jewish lives were taken and others were injured in a series of “lone” attacks in the last 2 weeks.
While there is no specific reported threat to New York’s Jews, the NYPD has heightened security in Jewish neighborhoods. In Crown Heights, there were more officers and patrols seen this week than during the High Holidays.