A funeral for murdered Brooklyn Rabbi Yosef Raksin was held in Miami Sunday, the day he was shot and killed on his way to synagogue in what police said was an attempted robbery. Approximately 300 people attended the ceremony and eulogies.
Following the funeral Sunday at the Bais Menachem Chabad synagogue, where Rabbi Joseph Raksin was headed when he was shot by two assailants on Saturday morning, the body was taken to the airport. A funeral and burial will take place Monday afternoon in Brooklyn.
Hundreds of men, women and children attended Sunday’s funeral, the Miami Herald reported. Raksin had arrived on Thursday in Miami for a week-long visit with his daughter and her family. Rabbi Raksin, 60, is the father of six and a leader in the Crown Heights community.
Police said he was shot several times following an altercation, though witnesses told NBC reporters that there was no altercation and the assailants were African-American males. Raksin was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center, where he died.
Miami-Dade police have said they do not believe the murder was a hate crime, rather a robbery gone bad. Members of Miami’s Jewish community are offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Raksin’s assailants.
Raskin’s daughter Shuly Labkowski told local media outlets she believes her father was targeted because of his religious affiliation. “I believe it was a hate crime,” said Labkowski. “[He was killed] simply because he’s a Jew.”
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.