Car defaced with swastika at murdered rabbi’s Florida memorial service

A swastika and Iron Cross were etched Sunday on a BMW owned by one of the mourners at Rabbi Joseph Raksin's funeral.

By JTA
August 13, 2014 01:23
1 minute read.
Swastika grafitti (illustrative)

Swastika grafitti (illustrative). (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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A mourner attending a memorial service in North Miami Beach, Fla., for murdered rabbi Joseph Raksin had his car defaced with anti-Semitic symbols.

A swastika and Iron Cross were etched Sunday on a BMW owned by the mourner, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. The Miami-Dade Police Department is investigating the vandalism.

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The service at the Bais Menachem Chabad synagogue was held a day after Raksin was shot and killed while was on his way to Sabbath morning services there. Raksin, 60, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was in south Florida visiting his daughter and her family.

On Tuesday, hundreds gathered in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn for the funeral procession for Raksin, a father of six who was a leader in the Orthodox community. His hearse passed Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters there.

At a news conference on the same day, Police Chief Alfredo Ramirez said his department is “utilizing all its resources to apprehend the perpetrators” in the shooting, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Police said they were looking for two men who walked away after shooting Raksin. One who was wearing a yellow shirt; the other had on an orange shirt.

Maj. Hector Llevat of the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Homicide Bureau said the investigation is in its preliminary stages and the motive is unknown.



“Right now there are no indications it’s a hate crime or related to a hate crime,” Llevat said. “However, we’re not closing that door and we’re not ruling anything out.”

Members of Raksin’s family have said they believe the murder was a hate crime.

Miami’s Jewish community is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Raksin’s assailants, according to the Miami Herald.

A nearby synagogue, Torah V’Emunah, was the target of vandalism on July 28, with swastikas and the word “Hamas” spray-painted on the front pillars.

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