One of Scotland’s leading rabbis has revealed he was the victim of a violent antisemitic attack in in which his religious headwear was thrown on the ground.
Rabbi Yossi Bodenheim, the Jewish Chaplain for Scottish Universities, was with his children when his wife was shoved and his kippah pulled from his head.
The shocking incident happened in central Edinburgh less than half a mile from the Scottish Parliament.
Rabbi Bodenheim said the “hateful” attack in early November left his children distressed.
The rabbi revealed his ordeal while speaking to MSPs at the parliament.
He told them: “My wife and I took our four young children for a walk in this beautiful city.
“However, as we were walking, a woman pushed my wife aside, grabbed my kippah, 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.”
abbi Bodenheim claimed that anti-Semitism is also a problem on university campuses.
He said: “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 anti-Semitism, because unfortunately it is an issue on campus as well.”
Asked whether the incident was an indicator of growing anti-Semitism within Scotland, Nicola Livingston, Chair of the Jewish Student Chaplaincy Scotland said: “Yes, absolutely”.
“I know the family were quite traumatised, it’s quite a difficult thing to speak about publicly, you don’t want to be seen as too vulnerable.”
“The Scottish Government needs to condemn such incidents when they happen, and that’s why Yossi used the opportunity to speak to MSPs.”