A Jewish teenager was beaten on his way to afternoon services Saturday afternoon in an apparent anti-Semitic attack in Paris’ multi-ethnic 19th district.

According to varying police accounts cited in newspaper reports, 17-year-old Rudy Haddad was jumped by as many as 30 youths of African origin wielding metal bars. Haddad, who is still in a coma in the city’s Cochin Hospital, was wearing a skullcap at the time. He attends a local Jewish day school.

The attack occurred not far from the Beth Chaya Mushka Lubavitch girls’ school on rue Petit. On Sunday, more than 300 people turned out for an impromptu show of solidarity just outside of the school’s gates.

Rabbi Hillel Benhamou, a secretary at the Beit Loubavitch Centre in Paris, said that the Jewish community was waiting for the completion of a police investigation before pronouncing judgment. He said that besides remaining unconscious, Haddad suffered broken ribs and a fractured skull.

“We don’t know exactly what happened, because he hasn’t woken up yet,” said Benhamou.

Police have arrested five youths in connection with the attack.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who arrived in Israel on a three-day state visit, condemned the attack.

He “assures the victim and his family of his support, and renews his total determination to fight all forms of racism and anti-Semitism,” read a statement from the president’s office, according to Reuters.

For some, the attack stoked memories of the 2006 kidnap and murder of Ilan Halimi, but Rabbi Mendel Azimov, a Chabad-Lubavitch emissary in Paris, said that community members remained steadfast in their determination to live without fear.

“People are not scared,” said Azimov. “They just want justice to be done.”