South Florida Plea For Unity

 “Everyone has a responsibility to create a more inclusive society and challenge hateful rhetoric. The safety and well-being of our community depend on it.”(Sabina Mohyuddin, program manager at The American Muslim Advisory Council)

 In response to the tragic murder this weekend of eleven Jewish followers at the “Tree of Life” Synogogue  in Pittsburgh, I read that security would be tightened at Jewish synagogues throughout South Florida. Arriving on Monday morning for a speaker presentation  at the David Posnack Jewish Community of South Florida,  I observed the enhanced presence of police patrols and massed array of  local TV news vans in the parking lot at this securely gated facility. As I entered the reception area, I then received word that this event had been cancelled. Meanwhile, I also heard that an open press conference reaction to the Pittsburgh tragedy would soon be taking place in a nearby building.

Given the free time now, I made my way to the press conference area, considering it as an opportunity to educate myself about community plans to deal with the Anti Semitism problem. As I entered the room,  I noticed ahead of me a row  of TV cameras facing a crowded press conference stage. Anticipated tension seemed to settle amid the diverse crowd I determined to be religious leaders, politicians, and other community organization activists To my left, a memorial table had  been set up to recognize each of the eleven Jewish victims  slain in Pittsburgh with lighted candles. Moving closer, I curiously scanned the official list of prominent speakers/attendees  from South Florida at this event.

I then saw an ideal opportunity to mingle among the crowd and speak to various attendees informally. Conversing candidly about their presence here today with  priests, rabbis,  mullahs, volunteers, and community activists, I now realized that this would be no politically divisive rally. An exhausted looking Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz would soon provide a tear-filled speech deploring this attack on the Jewish community as an attack on all humanity in this country. As the press conference continued, I surprisingly noted that other speeches contained largely factual reporting about Jewish hate crimes with no mention of Donald Trump or the upcoming midterm election.     

What have I learned today? Clearly, a plea for unity in this crisis across political, economic, and religious lines seems most relevant here. America has just witnessed one of the largest anti-Jewish attacks in the history of this country. Social media hate attacks currently run rampant. Our President continually uses blameful attacks on his opponents to exacerbate our political differences. Whether globalism or nationalism resonates with you now, we must tone down the anger and engender vigilant attention to our shared humanity. 

10 thoughts on “South Florida Plea For Unity

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  1. Yes, we definitely need unity. It is astounding the United States does not have effective gun control laws. Our government is corrupted by the Big Money of special interests, in this case, the NRA and weapons manufacturers. The President’s propensity to stir up hate and division is despicable, yet our problems of hate and violence were advancing before he came along. Our corporate-funded political system doesn’t get anything done, except re-elect mediocre politicians and advance their personal ambitions for wealth and power.

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  2. A great piece that takes us right to the heart of how our community is facing the latest massacre of hate in this country. I’m proud of our local leaders for unifying and bringing together people from all walks of life. Since we’re not getting leadership from the top, it’s nice to know that our community Is busy promoting unification. South Florida IS stronger than hate. And it is also comforting to know the JCC is stepping up its protection. Thank you for sharing this poignant blog. Hopefully, our votes will change the dynamics of the surge of anti Semitism and intolerance.

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  3. .
    Lesley: I had to write this blog today as the event was quite emotional to me. We spent time in Europe on our vacation looking at Holocaust exhibits in France and Germany. Upcoming blogs will discuss my thoughts in more detail.

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    1. I’m so glad you took the time to write this,. I look forward to seeing and reading about the Holocaust exhibits you and Ruth visited. You may have heard from Ruth that my family thought all my father’s Kluchin(sky) relatives were murdered by Nazis during the Halocaust. However, through ancestry I learned that one of my father’s cousins survived. (She hid while her parents and grandparents were dragged away by the SS.) And so I recently connected with a cousin from Paris. She sent pictures of the wall in Paris with the names of all of my grandfather’s brothers and sisters who died in Auschwitz. It was eerie to see my family name and heartbreaking to realize that had my grandfather not moved to America from Paris before the war, my family would never have existed . Your comments and blogs help enlighten and awaken the thought process to help promote change for the better. Thank you.


      1. Lesley:
        We spent quite a bit of time at the wall you mentioned in Paris on our vacation. Hopefully, the pictures will enlighten you further. My situation with Hungarian grandparents was similar to yours.

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  4. I look forward to reading that blog. On the wall my relatives’ names were spelled Cluchinsky since the wall was carved based on Nazi records and they spelled named based on sounds. One thing the Nazis did well was keep accurate records.

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    1. Yes there was a room in this facility where every Holocaust victim had his/her storage slot filled with letters, official documents, …. You might inquire with the museum as to the last name you mentioned. I will show some pictures on my next blog of this spaces.


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