BERLIN (JTA) – A Berlin rabbi was verbally abused and spat on, one of several recent attacks on Jews in the German capital.
The incident, which took place on Friday night, is under investigation. The perpetrators have not been identified.
Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, a community rabbi and president of Chabad Lubavitch in Berlin, reported that two men shouted at him in Arabic, and spat on him after he left services at his synagogue in the Wilmersdorf district around 9 pm. He was with one of his young children.
Teichtal told Die Welt that it was especially shocking to be physically attacked, adding that he had never experienced anything similar in 23 years in Berlin, though he has frequently heard “shitty Jew” from passersby.
In a statement to German media, Teichtal said that despite such attacks in Berlin schoolyards and streets, he was convinced that “most people in Berlin want Jews to be able to live openly as Jews, without fear of being cursed at, spat on or beaten up.”
“Of course we won’t hide ourselves,” he wrote. “We will continue to build on a foundation of love, tolerance, dialogue and education.”
The Berlin-based Antisemitism Research and Information Center reported that the district in which Teichtal lives and works, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, had 80 reported antisemitic incidents last year, the second highest level in Berlin, second only to the Mitte district with 146. In all, some 1,800 incidents were reported in the capital in 2018, an increase of nearly 20 per cent above the previous year.