Teen­gang tar­gets Charedi pupils

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY NATHAN JEFFAY MANCH­ESTER

PUPILS FROM a strictly Ortho­dox school in Manch­ester were at­tacked by a racist gang as they re­turned from an af­ter­noon swim on Sun­day.

The group of 20 seven- to 14-yearolds from Yeshivas Ohr To­rah, an in­de­pen­dent sec­ondary school, had spent the af­ter­noon at Broughton Pool, ten min­utes’ walk away.

As they re­turned home, they were ap­proached by a gang of around eight youths and sub­jected to an­tisemitic taunts.

Then one of the gang be­gan lash­ing out, kick­ing and slap­ping some of the boys, who were dressed in Charedi clothes.

None of the boys was se­ri­ously hurt but a school spokes­woman said: “They were rather shaken up by it.”

The in­ci­dent raised con­cerns about safety on trips to the baths, which are a short walk from the main Jewish area in Manch­ester, she added. “Maybe in fu­ture they will take a minibus.”

Lo­cal po­lice su­per­in­ten­dent Lior Gi­ladi was “ap­palled by this at­tack on young chil­dren. Even more wor­ry­ingly, it ap­pears to have been racially mo­ti­vated”.

He added: “Lo­cal of­fi­cers are work­ing hard to find those re­spon­si­ble, and pa­trols have been stepped up.

“We are tak­ing the at­tack on the young­sters very se­ri­ously and a num­ber of leads are be­ing fol­lowed up by neigh­bour­hood of­fi­cers who have started an in­ves­ti­ga­tion. This is the first time we have had an in­ci­dent such as this and hope­fully it will be the last.”

The at­tack fol­lows an in­crease in an­tisemitic hate crimes in Hale, South Manch­ester, in re­cent months.

Af­ter be­ing sub­jected to abuse, in July Rabbi Joel Port­noy from Hale Barns and Rabbi Yitz­chok Ru­bin from South Manch­ester Syn­a­gogue in Bow­don were given es­corts by their con­gre­gants to Shab­bat-morn­ing ser­vices to pro­tect them.

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