TALLAHASSEE, FL., Feb. 10 – In the wake of recent antisemitic incidents in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. President Wilton Simpson, House Speaker Chris Sprowls, House Chairman Randy Fine, and CFO Jimmy Patronis spoke out against hate crimes and antisemitism at a press conference Thursday in front of the Tallahassee State Capital at Southern NCSY’s “Hate Ends Now” Holocaust cattle car exhibit. Todd Cohn, Executive Director of Southern NCSY, gave the benediction and Mimi Jankovits, National Grassroots Director for Teach Coalition spoke at the event, which was hosted by the Orthodox Union’s Southern NCSY and Teach Florida divisions, along with ShadowLight, a Holocaust awareness group.
Watch a recording of the event on Teach Florida’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TeachFL/
Southern NCSY’s Chief Development Officer Solly Hess oversees the “Hates Ends Now” exhibition, first launched in December 2021. Its goal, he said, is “to educate students, families, and communities about the atrocities of the Holocaust and help them understand the ongoing need to fight antisemitism and other forms of hate and bigotry. Since its inception, the impact of Hate Ends Now has been extraordinary. Participants leave saying, ‘I had no idea,’ ‘How could this have happened?’ and ‘We must take a stand to ensure this never happens again.’”
The press conference took place on the heels of recent antisemitic episodes such as last week’s assault on a Jewish student by neo-Nazis at a University of Central Florida rally in Orlando and Nazi flyers blaming Jews for the Covid pandemic that were distributed to hundreds of homes in Miami and Surfside last month.
“We appreciate our Florida elected officials standing with us today to speak out against antisemitism,” said Mimi Jankovits, National Grassroots Director for Teach Coalition, a project of the Orthodox Union. “This is a time for leaders across all segments of our society — government, business, entertainment, faith, and more — to demonstrate that they stand with America’s Jews and against antisemitism. We are looking for all people of good will to speak out clearly and repudiate the current surge in anti-Jewish hate.”
Following their addresses, elected leaders visited the “Hate Ends Now” exhibit, which includes a 360-degree immersive journey through a replica of a cattle car Nazis used to transport Jews to concentration camps during WWII. Upon entering the cattle car and viewing the trauma and terror of the millions of Jews transported to their deaths at the infamous Nazi death camps, the exhibit provides a first-hand sense of the tragic consequences born of hate and antisemitism. Presented by Southern NCSY and JSU in partnership with ShadowLight, a national Holocaust nonprofit, the Hate Ends Now tour has included stops across Florida, including at schools and community centers. It traveled to Lincoln High School on Wednesday, February 9, and will be at Florida State University on Friday, February 11, before continuing on to Orlando, Miami, Wellington, Tampa and Jacksonville. It will then travel to North Carolina and South Carolina.
This traveling exhibit is open to groups of all ages and all faiths. For tour description and schedule or to host the exhibit at your institution, visit www.hateendsnow.org.
Southern NCSY Chief Development Officer Solly Hess alongside Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as he stresses the importance of Holocaust education and reinforces that Antisemitism and hate have no place in the state of Florida.
Executive Director of Teach Florida Mimi Jankovits thanking the Governor and elected officials for their strong stance against Antisemitism and tremendous support of day school security.
Jordana Lebowitz, founder of the ShadowLight Cattle Car, being recognized for her Innovative Holocaust education efforts.