JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The amount of antisemitic incidents in Jacksonville grew from three in 2021 to 27 in 2022. This came at a time when Antisemitic incidents across the county had risen 36% over the last year.
In 2022, the Anti-Defamation League recorded over 3,000 incidents throughout the county, which is the highest number of reported incidents recorded since the organization began tracking them in 1979.
Mariam Feist, CEO of the Jewish Federation and Foundation of Northeast, said it’s sad to know incidents such as these are on the rise but the organization plans to use the hate as an opportunity to change the narrative and make something positive out the situation.
“If we ban together and use our voices collectively, we’ll drown out those few that are spewing this vile hatred,” Feist said.
Feist called the recent date startling.
The 27 incidents in Northeast Florida include the projections of antisemitic messages across the TIAA Bank Field and a banner hanging across an overpass on a highway on the Westside.
Feist said her organization is using those acts as a starting point to reach out to different groups to build alliances and show others what the organization is about.
She also talked about a security initiative that will include training for active events and natural disasters.
“We’ll also be hardening our sites, making sure all of our organizations institutions and synagogues schools make it a little more difficult for anybody to just walk off the street into our buildings,” she said.
She also mentioned plans to start a new community relations council to include outreach groups like law enforcement officers and elected leaders.