Police are investigating after United Synagogue’s head of burials Melvyn Hartog was allegedly struck on the head and kicked in Chigwell at the weekend.
A spokesperson for Essex Police confirmed the force received reports a man in his seventies was assaulted in the street in Warren Court on 7 December before 6.20pm.
The victim suffered superficial wounds after being allegedly hit on the back of the head with a branch and kicked after falling to the floor, the spokesperson said.
Police said the suspect, described as wearing a long coat and with ringlets in his hair, left the scene towards Grange Hill train station.
Jewish News understands Hartog was taken to hospital for an overnight stay and is currently recovering at home with no plans to cancel speaking events.
A source told the Jewish Chronicle the victim received a phone call shortly before the incident from someone claiming to be a member of staff at a delivery company and informing him that a parcel was ready for collection across the road.
According to the report, the attacker appeared to be from a Charedi background and hid behind a tree before the attack.
Steven Wilson, chief executive of United Synagogue, said: “We are shocked to learn about this unprovoked attack on Saturday evening.
“The United Synagogue is supporting Melvyn as he recovers. Melvyn is a valued and popular member of staff who supports our members and their families at the most delicate time of their life.
“The United Synagogue condemns the attack in the strongest possible terms and is working with the relevant authorities.”
Hartog was approached for comment.
- Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 101 and quote the crime reference number 42/193586/19.