(MIAMI NEW TIMES) The recent spree of vicious anti-Semitic attacks has weighed on Jonathan Ismael Velez like a lead apron. Miami Beach is more than 1,300 miles from the New Jersey kosher market where three people were shot dead in early December, and even farther from Monsey, New York, where a Hanukkah celebration was cut short by a machete-wielding assailant later that month. But for Velez, a practicing Jew and South Beach resident, the distance provided little peace of mind.
Suddenly feeling unsafe in public places, he took to Facebook to see whether there were other Jews in his community who could relate.
"I know I shouldn't be ashamed of my faith, culture, or where my family came from, but as a Jew, with the recent events in New York and Philadelphia, I have started to remove my kippah as soon as I leave synagogue simply because I do not want to be targeted for my faith," Velez wrote in a recent post on a page for Miami Beach residents. "I fear it is only a matter of time before something happens in my hometown."
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