A court in Zhytomyr, Ukraine sentenced two Ukrainian men to 9-11 years of prison for fatally beating Rabbi Menachem Mendel Deitsch three years ago, according to a Ynet report on Sunday.
Two Ukrainian women, who were minors at the time of the beating, were sentenced to seven years of prison. The defendants were also fined about $4,000, which will be given to the rabbi’s family.
Rabbi Deitsch, who served as a Chabad emissary in France and Israel, was savagely attacked by the defendants at the central train station in Zhytomyr on October 8, 2016, a few days after Rosh Hashanah.
The defendants took his cell phone and money and left him unconscious. He was found hours later by bystanders in critical condition and evacuated to a local hospital, where he was found to have suffered severe head injuries and brain trauma. He underwent surgery at the hospital but his condition did not improve. Later he was airlifted to a hospital in Israel but unfortunately never regained consciousness and passed away six months later, at the age of 64.
Rabbi Deitsch had been active in strengthening Jewish life in the former Soviet Union for many years, and was a central organizer of hospitality and programming at the burial site of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, the founder of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. He had spent the Rosh Hashanah before the attack in the Ukrainian town of Haditch, near the burial site.
Rabbi Deitsch was survived by his wife, 11 children and three brothers.