Last Shabbat morning around 9:03, an elderly Jewish man was attacked in the area of North Rexford Drive and North Santa Monica Blvd, the Beverly Hills Police Department reported on Sunday. The attacker hit his victim on the head with a belt while shouting antisemitic insults at him. The victim, Raphy Nissel, who is the Ba’al Koreh (Torah reader) at a local synagogue, sustained a laceration on his head.
Nissel, who was accompanied by his wife, had no prior acquaintance with his attacker. He was treated by a medical team of the Beverly Hills Fire Department and did not require additional treatment.
The suspect, Jay Silagi, 44, a resident of Los Angeles, fled the scene, but a witness was able to give police his description and he was quickly found and apprehended. He is being held on a $100,000 bail in the LA county jail and will appear before a judge on Tuesday.
Rabbi Pinni Dunner tweeted: “Raphy Nissel, a member of my shul and the Baal Koreh, was attacked in Beverly Hills on his way to shul yesterday. After his bleeding headwound was stitched, he went home, changed his shirt, and came back to shul and did Kriat Hatorah. He and his wife are true heroes!”
Raphy Nissel, a member of my shul and the Baal Koreh, was attacked in Beverly Hills on his way to shul yesterday. After his bleeding headwound was stitched, he went home, changed his shirt, and came back to shul and did Kriat Hatorah. Him and his wife are true heroes!… https://t.co/vsoJqnnHRH
— Pini Dunner (@pinidunner) December 10, 2023
Raphy’s son, Alan Tzvika Nissel, tweeted: “Here is an antisemitism vignette you won’t read about in the papers. Yesterday, on his way to shul, my father, 75, and mother, 70, were attacked. After being struck from behind on the head by a belt and called out as Jew, my father recomposed himself and successfully chased down the perp with the help of nearby Beverly Hills PD.”
BHPD Chief Mark Stainbrook stated: “Our officers quickly apprehended the suspect and he is in custody. This despicable act of hate against a member of our community will not be tolerated.”