Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

JCC bomb threats: Build solidarity across Orlando

Dear Editor:

The spate of recent bomb threats at our Maitland Jewish Community Campus should not lead to making American Jewish life similar to Paris or other cities in Europe. Walking or driving through more security fences and being searched by security guards and monitored by more cameras will push only the strongly committed amongst us away from all our institutions. Better to use this crisis as an opportunity to make a broad outreach to the greater Orlando community. Holocaust Remembrance Day could have been such a date to hold a solidarity event in Maitland or at Lake Eola. We should be holding solidarity events and interfaith conferences now to stand up against hatred and bigotry. We should be demonstrating the richness and beauty of our Jewish Heritage to our wonderful community. Imagine Tu B’Shevat as a day to celebrate the environment for all of Orlando to engage with us? How about a Jewish Federation sponsored Freedom Passover Seder with major local dignitaries? It would be a great mistake not to seize on this tragedy as an opportunity for outreach and mutual understanding. Jewish security is best built by building bridges not by building walls.

Bruce Hoffen

Lake Mary


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