Miami Beach’s Lesser Known Minority

Everyone knows Miami Beach is famous for sand, sun, fun, bikinis, and bods. What’s less known, at least to visitors, is that it’s also home to a thriving Jewish community. One site worth checking out is the Holocaust Memorial, about half a mile inland at 20th Street, in South Beach. It presents a sobering (and yes, potentially awkward) contrast to the 24-hour levity and debauchery taking place just several blocks east.

The most conspicuous subgroup of this Jewish community is the Hasidic population in Mid-Beach. I was taken aback the first time I ran into men and women, decked out in full garb -- in 80-degree weather -- strolling down Collins Avenue alongside tattooed teenagers and artificially-enhanced women.

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Hasidim in Mid-Beach

Hasidim in Mid-Beach

Yet another Miami Beach fashion quirk.

Just south of the iconic Fontainebleau, along 41st Street, Hasidim run many of the businesses, including several (sushi, anyone?) that I’m pretty sure didn’t originate in the Holy Land.

And apparently studying the Torah on the beach is not forbidden by the Big Guy. Check it out:

Hasidim Beachin' It

Hasidim Beachin’ It

Pretty fly for a rabbi.