Leaders join in Miami to condemn rise of antisemitism

MIAMI – Mayors from 15 different municipalities gathered together on Tuesday at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation to call out and condemn the alarming increase in antisemitism being seen nationwide.

The event was called upon during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, which celebrates religious freedom and the centuries-old struggle to overcome oppression against all odds.

“It is our job to call out hate to call out antisemitism,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.

The hate also hit South Florida in Weston, where several swastikas and other antisemitic tropes were found spray painted all over a community playground back in October.

“Leaders and corportations have too often failed to comdemn hate when it occurs when companies continue to work with celebrities who say hateful things antisemitic or otherwise,” said Anti-Defamation League Regional Director Sarah Emmons.

“We know that when people are hurting, sometimes unfortunately some people look for scapegoats and tend to blame a certain group or type of people,” said Ariel Bentata, of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. “Unfortunately, throughout the decades and centuries, the Jews have been one of the first to be blamed.”

During Tuesday’s meeting, local leaders, including Miami-Dade county’s first Jewish Mayor Danielle Levine Cava, identified the factors fueling this troubling trend while also encouraging residents to call out the hate no matter where or when it may come up.

“We all have the power to turn the tide towards greater inclusivity, equity and opportunity and we must ensure and repeat that hatred will not be tolerated against any community,” Levine Cava said.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, Florida saw a 50% increase in antisemitic incidents in 2021 and show no signs of slowing down and encouraging others to report the hate as soon as its encountered.

About the Authors:

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.