Weston Jewish Leaders React to Rash of Anti-Semitic Incidents


On the morning of Oct. 5, throughout the Jewish vacation Yom Kippur, residents of a group within the Metropolis of Weston awoke to disturbing anti-Semitic and racial slurs graffitied throughout their neighborhood.

Scrawled throughout sidewalks and public rest room partitions within the manicured group in Broward County’s westernmost metropolis had been massive swastikas and the phrase “kill Jews.” Residents shortly took to consoling one another in a state of disgust and confusion: Who would do that? Was this one in every of our neighbors?

Weeks later, on Oct. 30, it occurred once more. Almost an identical graffiti was discovered on entrance indicators and round a youngsters’s playground in the identical Weston neighborhood.

The recurring anti-Semitic vandalism has galvanized leaders in Weston’s sizable Jewish group round a message of resilience and unity.

“To the perpetrators of those racist and anti-Semitic crimes, all of us collectively let you know, you’ll not win,” Rabbi Adam Watstein from Weston temple B’nai Aviv mentioned throughout a press convention on Oct. 31. “We’re united collectively as a faith-based group to remind everybody in Weston that anti-Semitism, racism, and hate has no place in our metropolis.”

The incidents come amid a worrying rise of anti-Semitism throughout the nation.

On October 22, an anti-Semitic hate group hung a banner over a buzzing Los Angeles freeway with the phrases “Kanye is true,” referencing remarks just lately made by rapper Ye (previously referred to as Kanye West), who mentioned he would go “Deathcon 3 on Jewish individuals.” Final weekend, a message that learn “Kanye was proper in regards to the Jews” was projected on TIAA Financial institution Area’s exterior throughout a Florida-Georgia soccer recreation in Jacksonville.

Rabbi Marci Bloch, who leads Temple Dor Dorim in Weston, says the latest incidents have left her “heartbroken.” She notes that the Jewish custom teaches its followers to see others within the picture of God.

“Hate anytime isn’t okay,” Bloch tells New Instances. “We must be past this.”

Weston metropolis officers and residents have additionally condemned the incidents on social media in latest days.

“This can be very upsetting, disturbing, and disappointing to see this persevering with to occur in our group,” metropolis supervisor Don Decker wrote on Fb in response to the incident. “This isn’t Weston. Hatred is chipping away at what makes Weston particular, our range.”

Others had been extra to the purpose.

“Vile,” one Weston resident wrote in response to a photograph of the vandalism.

“Pardon my French however WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK,” one other replied.

Florida has seen an “alarming rise” in extremist exercise pushed by on-line misinformation and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, based on a report launched in September by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). 

The report, “Hate within the Sunshine State: Extremism and Antisemitism in Florida,” discovered that the variety of anti-Semitic incidents documented by the ADL in Florida rose to 190 in 2021, a 50 % year-over-year improve.

Nationwide, the ADL says that it obtained extra reviews of anti-Semitic incidents in 2021 than it had in any prior 12 months because it started monitoring anti-Semitic incidents in 1979. The group logged 2,717 reviews of assault, harassment, and vandalism in 2021.

As of 2018, Broward County had the most important Jewish group in Florida and one of many largest in the US.


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