The Jewish community of Miami has offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest regarding the murder of Rabbi Joseph Raksin hy''d, reports the Miami Herald.
The 60-year-old rabbi was shot to death on Saturday morning while making his way to a local synagogue. Reportedly he was shot by two young African-American men who fled the scene after the murder.
Friends and family of the rabbi, who arrived in Florida last Thursday from his home of Crown Heights in New York to visit his daughter for a one-week vacation, have countered the police theory that the murder was a robbery gone wrong, insisting that he was targeted in a hate crime.
"It was not a robbery. The criminal element in Miami and New York knows that the Orthodox (Jews) don’t carry money on the Sabbath," Elehana Giezinsky, a 56-year-old friend of the murdered rabbi, told the New York Post.
Raksin's son-in-law Lieb Ezagui emphasized "he was targeted because he was Jewish. They walked up and shot him and just walked away cold. They didn’t even try to rob him."
The sudden murder of the father of six has left the family "shocked and devastated," noted Ezagui.
Another friend of the rabbi, Shimon Goldner, said "a rabbi gunned down on the Sabbath is not a robbery, it’s a murder. Jews all over the world are being killed."
The comment on worldwide anti-Semitism comes at a time when global Jew hatred is skyrocketing amid the counter-terror Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. A World Zionist Organization study found that in July 2014, there was an increase of over 383% in cases of anti-Semitism compared to the same month in the previous year.
It has also been noted that the Torah V'Emunah synagogue located near the site of the Miami murder was recently vandalized on July 28, with swastikas and the word "Hamas" scrawled in spray-paint, lending credence to the claims of a hate crime.