MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Hundreds of people gathered in Miami Beach to stand against antisemitism, as crimes against the Jewish community have risen in recent weeks.
The Greater Miami Jewish Federation hosted an interfaith rally at the Holocaust Memorial, Thursday evening.
7News cameras captured a large crowd gathered in front of a stage with the banner “No hate. No Fear” attached on top.
“We’ve seen this hatred before,” said Isaac Fisher, chair of the federation’s executive board. “Antisemitism is the world’s oldest prejudice, and it will not be tolerated in our community or anywhere else.”
Some participants held up signs. One of the signs read, “Never again.”
Cameras also showed a large law enforcement presence before and during the rally.
The event comes as South Florida has seen an increase in antisemitic incidents.
In Hallandale Beach, police arrested a man accused of hurling antisemitic remarks outside of a Jewish school and synagogue. On two occasions, investigators said, he left containers filled with human waste before he sped away on an electric bicycle.
A family visiting from New Jersey said they had a run-in with a group who shouted anti-Semitic words at them in Bal Harbour.
A van spotted at various locations across South Florida had antisemitic messages pasted on it.
“It hurts terribly because of the ignorance and the lack of compassion for another human being,” said a woman who attended the rally.
Leaders from various public civic organizations and religions have condemned the current wave of antisemitism.
“Antisemitic acts rooted in hatred are denials of another’s humanity,” said Priscilla Felisky Whitehead, a minister with the United Church of Christ.
7News has learned that there has been an increase of nearly 80% in antisemitic crimes nationwide over the past several weeks.
“We realize that we really need to sound the alarm. We really need to bring the community together,” said Jacob Solomon, the federation’s president and CEO. “We need to make sure that people see what’s going on and expose it for what it is.”
“We know that standing together, we can overcome hate with hope,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
The diverse group of speakers stressed Levine Cava’s message of hope.
“You have to stand up and speak against hate, or it flourishes,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. “It only grows in the dark.”
No incidents were reported during the peaceful rally.
Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.