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Rabbis speak out after more than 50 bomb threats sent to Florida synagogues

Rabbis react after Florida synagogues receive over 50 bomb threats
Rabbis react after Florida synagogues receive over 50 bomb threats 02:36

HOLLYWOOD - Two prominent South Florida rabbis are speaking out after reports that bomb threats were sent by email to more than 50 synagogues in Florida on Tuesday.

Authorities say anti-Semitic incidents have increased dramatically since Hamas attacked Israel last October 7th.

The Anti-Defamation League said there were 463 anti-Semitic incidents in Florida in 2023.

CBS News Miami has learned that one of the synagogues receiving a threat was Temple Solel in Hollywood along with Temple Judea in Coral Gables. While no one was hurt and those synagogues are not commenting, the two rabbis we spoke with are alarmed.

Rabbi Yisroel Spalter of the Chabad of Weston said, "This is obviously very concerning. The government and the authorities will have to deal with this. As far as the community is concerned, it is never good to panic and we must be vigilant. In the last few months, we have seen an uptick in anti-Semitic incidents and demonstrations and again this is all very concerning."

Spalter said, "I think we have to be positive and love one another. We must do good deeds and that will avoid the darkness."

Rabbi Yisroel Harlig of the Chabad of Kendall and Pinecrest said "The climate of the country and the world is seeing more Antisemitism coming to a head since October 7th. It is sad. As a Jewish community, we have to stay vigilant."

Harlig said, "We as a Jewish community here and in the world must say that we are not going to accept it. We are not going to run away."

Earlier this month, 26-year-old Paul Morris was arrested after allegedly posting on social media that he was going to shoot up a synagogue.

On Tuesday, Governor Ron DeSantis said the state had provided more funding than ever for security to curb anti-Semitic incidents.

He said, "Florida is prepared. We have put out money where our mouth is and if you are going to try to bring that to our state you are going to end up hitting a brick wall."

"If people are being targeted because they are Jewish or for any other reason, we are going to hold the offender accountable."

There can be serious consequences for making a bomb threat.

If you make a bomb threat by email, it's a federal crime and if convicted, you can be sent to prison for up to 10 years.

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