In light of a recent surge in antisemitic incidents in Florida, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is spearheading an effort to address this alarming trend. She will be hosting a gathering of community professionals, faith and cultural leaders, campus representatives, and law enforcement officials at the David Posnack JCC in Davie, Florida, on May 31st. The goal of this event is to discuss strategies and measures to address the current rise in antisemitism and hate in South Florida.
The gathering will feature a keynote address from Deborah Lipstadt, who serves as the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism for the U.S. Department of State. Lipstadt, an internationally recognized authority on the Holocaust and antisemitism, will lend her profound knowledge and insights to this pivotal discourse.
Additionally, the event will convene representatives from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), American Jewish Coalition (AJC), Jewish Federation of Broward County, and Chabad of SW Florida. Law enforcement agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and FBI Miami Bureau, will also be in attendance. Significantly, the gathering will not be limited to Jewish organizations and authorities; faith leaders from Christian, Muslim, and Hindu traditions will also participate, underscoring the event’s commitment to interfaith solidarity and cooperation in combating hate.
This event follows a disturbing incident last week at Cooper City High School in Fort Lauderdale, where swastika graffiti was discovered on campus. In a letter to students and parents, Principal Vera Perkovic underscored that hate would not be tolerated at the school.
Perkovic noted that at least one student involved had been identified and faced appropriate disciplinary consequences. She also pointed out that “No Place for Hate” activities, already planned for the week, had become particularly timely in light of the incident. She affirmed the school’s commitment to stand united against hate, discrimination, racism, and antisemitism.
As per the data compiled by the ADL, antisemitic incidents in Florida have more than doubled since 2020. The Sunshine State recorded a total of 269 incidents in 2022 – a staggering 42% increase from 2021 and an all-time high.
Nationwide, 3,697 incidents of assault, harassment, and vandalism were reported to the ADL, marking a 36% increase from the 2,717 incidents recorded in 2021. This is the highest number of incidents recorded since the ADL began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979.
The upcoming gathering hosted by Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz is a crucial part of this whole-of-society approach. By bringing together diverse stakeholders, the event aims to foster a dialogue that leads to actionable solutions to this pressing issue. It underscores the need for community-wide commitment to stand against hate and promote an inclusive society.