Today’s Community-Wide Gathering Addressing Anti-Semitism

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This morning I joined with other rabbis, Jewish professionals, law enforcement – including members of the FBI, FEMA, BSO and police chiefs from Broward and Miami Dade – including the Chiefs from the Plantation and Davie Police Departments – at a meeting to discuss the outbreak of anti-Semitism in our community. This meeting was organized and led by our Congresswoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.  We were briefed by the FBI about the current situation. It is clear that they are working very closely on investigating the many anti-Semitic incidents rocking our community. During our meeting, it was announced that an arrest has been made related to the bomb threats called into Jewish institutions. The FBI made it clear, however, that this is an ongoing investigation that has a possible international nexus. Law enforcement did caution us all to be wary of media reports surrounding these incidents. In addition, they stressed that if we do find ourselves in a building where a bomb threat has been called in, do NOT share information – especially on social media. Doing so puts everyone involved at risk. This morning’s meeting gave me great confidence that this crisis is being handled extremely well and everything is being done to ensure our safety and security. Our law enforcement community is incredible.

In attendance at this morning’s meeting were representatives of the American Jewish Committee, the Miami Jewish Community Relations Council and the Anti-Defamation League. With these organizations, we spoke about ways in which we as a community can strategize and work to combat the rise in anti-Semitism. Congresswoman Schultz encourages us to build bridges with other religious and ethnic communities to help teach others about our faith. She and others also stressed the need to put aside religious and political differences within our Jewish family and come together to combat hate. While it was not shared at the meeting, the ADL did propose the following strategy to President Trump – click here.

As we are taught in Pirkei Avot: “Do not separate yourself from the community.”  Now is the time to come together. To be with each other. To support each other. To show the world that we stand together as a strong, united community. And so, I urge you to join us tonight at 7:30PM for Kabbalat Shabbat and all other events at Ramat Shalom. Your presence is one of the best ways to combat hate directed against us.

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