Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Taking positive action in the aftermath of bomb threat


On Tuesday, Jan. 26, The Jewish Academy of Orlando, and two other Florida schools—the Meyer Academy in Palm Beach Gardens (as well as the Mandel Jewish Community Center there) and the Chabad of Tampa Bay school—received bomb threats. There were no bombs found at all the locations. However, the schools were closed for the rest of the day and the children and parents were shaken that this could happen here.

One parent, Rona Weiss, took action, turning what could have developed into a deeper fear into positive action.

“I saw a lot of passion and emotion after—how everything was handled so well—and I wanted to funnel that passion into something good and tangible,” Weiss said.

The idea of the Koach Campaign, a fundraiser, was “quick and immediate” she said. “Koach” is Hebrew for strength. After discussing her idea with several other parents, Weiss put her plan in motion and set up an account on GoFundMe. Forty-five people have responded in the last five days and $4, 235 had been raised as of Monday, Feb. 1.

Head of School Alan Rusonik is in favor of the parent-initiated fundraiser and told the Orlando Sentinel that the school already works with nearby Christian and Muslim schools to create an interfaith connection. The additional funds could enable the academy to undertake more projects, such as inviting guest speakers to raise awareness.

Weiss also stated that the interfaith activities so far have been geared toward the middle school students. She would like to see all the Jewish Academy students, including the younger children, involved in understanding other religions, to be strong in their own faiths and respectful of others.

The funds from this campaign will be used to strengthen and expand on programs such as these that promote education, understanding, and community amongst all faiths. 

Weiss invites anyone who would like to show their support for the school and help “preserve our heritage and traditions.”

“We will not be deterred in any way and any threat will simply be met with our showing of Koach,” Weiss stated.

To make a contribution to the Koach Campaign, go to : https://www.gofundme.com/koach.


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