Rabbi Joseph Raksin, 60, was walking with a friend to North Miami Beach synagogue Bais Menachem, at 1005 N.E. 172nd Terrace around 9 a.m. when two young men reportedly approached and shot him, Miami-Dade Police said.
Raksin was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center, where he died shortly thereafter.
The two suspects ran away on foot and by bike and police still do not have a description of them.
Raksin is from Brooklyn, Crown Heights section, who was in South Florida to visit his granddaughter and other relatives.
Police have released a statement saying “At this time there is no indication of this being a hate crime,”.
But Brian Siegal, director of the American Jewish Committee’s Miami and Broward Regional Office, said he believes Raksin’s shooting may be connected to the recent act of vandalism at the nearby Torah V’Emunah, an Orthodox synagogue, 1000 N.E. 174th St.
Chesed Shel Emes is working wth medical examiner to avoid an autopsy.
Hava Holzhauer, ADL Florida Regional Director, said in a statement. “That at this time, it appears to be a robbery that went badly.”
“Currently no evidence has been brought to light that it was motivated by anti-Semitism”.
“This is a terrible tragedy. While the motivation for this crime is still being investigated, nothing can justify the killing of an innocent man walking to his place of worship to pray on his holy day.”
“We appreciate the professionalism that the Miami-Dade Police Department has shown in securing all the evidence surrounding the crime and assuring that this investigation remains an exceptionally high priority. Let us hope that the culprits are swiftly apprehended and brought to justice.” Said Holzhauer