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Miami, FL: Remembering the First Anniversary of a Jewish Death

Joseph Raksin

Rabbi Joseph Raksin

What if a rabbi clad in black with a long beard and hat to match his identifiable Jewish appearance were executed on his way to synagogue at 9:00 AM on Saturday in front of his little grandchildren on a lovely Miami Beach street? Why, of course, the Jewish and non-Jewish outrage would be irrepressible, relentless, insatiable until justice was accomplished.

The Rabbi – Joseph Raksin His age – 60 His family – wife, six children, and seven grandchildren

Date of death – August 9, 2014

Murderers – two young Black men on foot and bicycle

Where is the Jewish outrage when Jewish blood is spilled? On the first anniversary of his cold-blooded murder, who will utter from the pulpit the name of “Joseph Raksin,” executed on his way to pray with his grandchildren on a perfect Miami Beach day in a perfect Florida neighborhood except for the relentless hate crimes numbering dozens and continuing?

Miami Beach anti-Semitic hate crimes involve numerous swastikas and hateful words and symbols spray-painted on Jewish buildings, a youth center and bus, neighborhood Publix, Jewish-owned cars, and synagogues. On July 28, 2014, during the Gaza War, a synagogue two blocks from Rabbi Raksin’s future place of death was defaced with swastikas painted in red across its stately white columns and front façade.

Where is the Jewish outrage when Jewish blood is spilled and synagogues are defaced with Nazi symbols and slogans? In one year’s time, who has made the Rabbi’s horrific broad-daylight execution a cause for speeches and news articles? Where are the suspects now?

Without your voice, our extended Jewish Florida family waits in fear of more crimes inflicted upon them and their property. Where is your voice? Where are the suspects, who could be planning more mayhem against the quiet Jews?

In honor of Rabbi Raksin, his family, the Jews of Miami Beach, and all the Martyrs of Israel, we ask you to observe this first anniversary of a Jewish death with words and deeds to protect all Jews from anti-Semitic hate crimes.

Please copy and paste the below petition and email it to: The AL KATZ Center at helpelders@hotmail.com.

May Rabbi Raksin’s memory be for blessing.

PETITION FOR HATE CRIME PROSECUTIONS OF RABBI’S MURDERERS

We, the undersigned, strongly call upon all relevant authorities, including the U.S. Justice Department, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to conduct a thorough investigation of and to pursue prosecutions to the fullest extent of the law as a hate crime for the assassination of Rabbi Joseph Raksin.

Rabbi Raksin was identifiably Jewish by his manner of dress. While he was walking to synagogue on the Jewish Sabbath, Saturday, August 9, 2014, at 9:00 AM, he was shot dead. Prior to his cold-blooded murder and after, there was a continuing string of hate crimes against the Miami Beach Jewish community, including, among other crimes, defacings of synagogues with swastikas, carving Nazi symbols into Jewish-owned cars, defacings of other Jewish buildings and the Publix in the Jewish neighborhood, threats against Jews, and defacings of a school bus and youth center in the area.

At this time, no one has been arrested, and aggressive tireless investigations need to be conducted to find the perpetrators of this obvious anti-Semitic hate crime and the other associated anti-Semitic hate crimes in the area.

Remembering MLK: Judging people by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character

August 28, 2014 marks the fifty-first anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream speech. Question: Is Dr. King’s dream alive and well today, or not?

We have written about two tragedies that occurred on Saturday, August 9th, 2014. Two Americans lost their lives. One was a Rabbi on his way to a shul (synagogue) in North Miami Beach, Florida and the second a black man walking down the middle of a street in Ferguson, Missouri. The reaction to each shooting may indicate how alive and well the dream Dr. Martin Luther King spoke about in his speech at the Lincoln Memorial truly is. Dr. King said:

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

[ … ]

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Rabbi Joseph Raksin

Rabbi Joseph Raksin

Are Joseph Raksin and Michael Brown being judged based upon the color of their skins or the content of their characters? Are government officials and the media treating both shootings equally? Is the law treating each shooting equally?

If Dr. King was correct, then our dream must be “deeply rooted in the America dream.” Both men deserve equal justice under the law. To do otherwise destroys the very foundation of the civil rights movement.

michael brown photo with gun

Michael Brown (with gun).

Should a white holy man not receive the same media and legal attention as a black man with a criminal record and history of violence? Should not both men’s shootings garner the same level of justice under the law? Should not both men’s families and funerals be covered equally by the media? Should not our highest elected and civic leaders show empathy, and more importantly, seek equal justice under the law for both men?

Apparently not. As we have witnessed since August 9th, 2014, there is growing evidence that men are being judged in the public square by the color of their skin rather than the content of their characters.

As Dr. King warned in 1963:

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment.

[ … ]

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

Jews and blacks have both been the victims of hate and racial animus. Both have suffered great harm at the hands of those who would make them second class citizens. Even today both are put upon across the globe. But their history as a people is not why each should be treated equally. They should be treated equally because they are both Americans.

Is Dr. King’s dream alive and well today, or not? You be the judge.

VIDEO: Theodore “Ted” Hayes, Jr. – We are Americans