Teens in Germany Fire Antisemitic Insults at Local Rabbi
JNS.org – A Chabad-Lubavitch emissary in Offenbach, Germany, was the victim of a verbal assault on his way to synagogue this past weekend by a group of teenagers.
“They shouted, ‘sh**ty Jew’ and ‘Free Palestine’ and other things at me,” Rabbi Menachem Mendel Gurevitch wrote in a post on Facebook.
The incident took place on Friday afternoon when Gurevitch, 39, was on his way to pray. He said he does not hide his Jewish identity, despite increasingly frequent antisemitic attacks in Europe.
“Usually, I ignore things like this, but this time I couldn’t, so I decided to try and talk to them. But the more I talked, the more they shouted at me,” he wrote.
This was not the first time that Gurevitch, director of Chabad Lubavitch of Offenbach am Main, has come under attack. Five years ago he was assaulted by a group of teens who started screaming antisemitic slurs at him. After that incident, a group of local residents organized a meeting with the assailants and they apologized.
“Offenbach is a good city, but antisemitism is becoming normalized and standard. I get ‘compliments’ like these often,” he told the local news site Hessenschau.
“My children don’t want to walk with me if I’m wearing a kippah,” he added, saying that his children hide their own kippahs under hats when they are outside, “because they’re scared.”
The Offenbach incident follows another incident in Berlin over the weekend where a young Jewish man was attacked and badly beaten by a group of Muslims. The police arrested 10 men, ages 15 to 21, some of whom were Syrian, on suspicion of involvement.