(JTA) — A man wounded in the stabbing attack on a rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York remains unconscious and on a respirator.
The doctors of Josef Neumann, 71, are not optimistic that he will regain consciousness and say if he does “miraculously” recover partially, that he is expected to have permanent brain damage that will leave him partially paralyzed and speech-impaired for the rest of his life, his family said in a statement released by the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council.
The attacker’s knife penetrated Neumann’s skull and cut into his brain, according to the statement. Because of his condition, doctors have not been able to operate on his shattered right arm.
The statement noted that Neumann has seven children, “many grandchildren,” a great grandchild, and brothers and sisters.
“We urge fellow Jews across the United States and around the globe to please share on social media their own experiences with anti-Semitism and add the hashtag #MeJew. We shall not let this terrible hate-driven attack be forgotten, and let us all work to eradicate all sorts of hate,” the family also said in its statement.
The Saturday night attack at the home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg left five people injured.
Prosecutors filed federal hate crimes charges Monday against the alleged attacker, identified as Grafton Thomas, 37, of Greenwood Lake, NY. The family said in a statement after Thomas was arraigned on Sunday that he “had a long history of mental illness and hospitalizations” and “no known history of anti-Semitism.”
Police found handwritten journals expressing anti-Semitic views, including references to Adolf Hitler and ‘Nazi culture,’ and drawings of a Star of David and a swastika at his home, and used his phone to look up information about Hitler, hatred of Jews, and the location of nearby synagogues.
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