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October 30, 2022


Zahni Thuzar | Marketing Manager | zahnit@jewishjacksonville.org | (904) 224-1412

A message from Jennifer Plotkin, Board President, and Mariam Feist, CEO, on the rise of antisemitism in Northeast Florida

The Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida is aware of the rise in the antisemitic rhetoric and messages of Jewish hatred here in our city as recently as last night with the display on the TIAA Bank Field exterior at the end of the Florida-Georgia game. 

The Jewish Federation & Foundation condemns these actions and is outraged. To build on the message of Nikki Fried, Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture in her statement on Friday, we are harnessing our outrage into positive action. Your Federation has been in communication with the FBI, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, and the St. Johns Sheriff's office. We will continue to work with them in ensuring the safety and security of our community.

The Jewish Federation & Foundation signed an agreement with Secure Community Network (SCN) late last week to establish a Community Security Initiative for our Northeast Florida community. The rhetoric we have seen and heard in the last few weeks is unnerving and a scare tactic. However, our largest concern is that even one person will see this as a call to action and repeat what we witnessed in Pittsburgh exactly four years ago this weekend. Through the establishment of a Community Security Initiative, we will be taking action to harden our campuses and our community, and to prepare and train to situational awareness those who work with our children, our seniors, and our most vulnerable. We are taking action to establish a standard of best practices in security and training through SCN, and implementing them through the Community Security Initiative. 

The Jewish Federation & Foundation is initiating Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) to build alliances and relationships with our elected officials, faith leaders, and public school superintendents to educate, inform, and ensure that our Jewish community has a strong voice in combatting intentional (and unintentional) antisemitism. The JCRC is partnering with organizations like the Anti-Defamation League and Stand with Us that, educate youth, young adults, and adults in our community, both Jewish and non-Jewish. The JCRC is partnering with interfaith groups and organizations, like One Jax, to ensure that our community is one that is welcoming and respectful regardless of race, religion, or identity. The JCRC will ensure that we stand together to denounce any forms of hatred.

We are harnessing our outrage to bring action to our community. The Jewish Federation & Foundation will not just post statements, we will act - and we are. Using national and local resources, we are working to implement these important initiatives for the benefit of our entire Jewish community in Northeast Florida.

We thank our local law enforcement for their partnership as we address these troublesome events, and we look forward to working with them to ensure the safety and security of Jewish life. We'd like to thank the leaders of our partner agencies for their collaboration and support of our responses and these initiatives. We also thank our generous local funders of our Community Security Initiative that afforded us the opportunity to bring SCN to Northeast Florida. We thank LiveSecure, a national match grant, which will enhance our security efforts. And, we thank our annual campaign supporters - without a Federation & Foundation, we could not be here for good.

Now we must go forward. 

Mariam sat down with News4Jax to speak on the recent displays of antisemitism. Read the full article and watch the full story here.

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