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December 12, 2016 7:00 pm

Scottish Rabbi Says Family Is ‘Distressed’ After Being Assaulted in Central Edinburgh

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

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Rabbi Yossi Bodenheim and his wife Sarah. Photo: www.mychaplaincy.co.uk.

Rabbi Yossi Bodenheim and his wife Sarah. Photo: www.mychaplaincy.co.uk.

A Scottish rabbi and his family were recently assaulted in central Edinburgh, Deadline News reported last week.

During a meeting with members of the Scottish Parliament on Thursday, Rabbi Yossi Bodenheim — the Jewish chaplain for Scottish universities — recounted the incident that took place in early November.

“My wife and I took our four young children for a walk in this beautiful city,” he was quoted as saying. “However, as we were walking, a woman pushed my wife aside, grabbed my kippa, threw it on the ground and ran away. That took place less than a mile from here, in front of my young children. You can imagine how distressed they were.”

Bodenheim went on to say, “Chessed is kindness, empathy and support for others. That hatred is the very opposite of chessed…As Scotland’s Jewish student chaplain, my role is to bring chessed to Jewish students and to make sure that they are comfortable on campus, whether it is ensuring their welfare, providing social and educational events, or just being a listening ear. I also have to help them cope with antisemitism, because unfortunately it is an issue on campus as well.”

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Nicola Livingston — the head of the Jewish Student Chaplaincy Scotland — was quoted as saying that the incident was an indicator of growing antisemitism in Scotland.

“I know the family were quite traumatized, it’s quite a difficult thing to speak about publicly, you don’t want to be seen as too vulnerable,” she stated. “The Scottish government needs to condemn such incidents when they happen.”

As reported by The Algemeiner in August, a new study found that Scottish Jews were increasingly keeping their identity a secret for fear of being the target of antisemitism.

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