BAL HARBOUR, FLA. (WSVN) - A New Jersey family said they were the target of an antisemitic attack while they walked along a busy roadway in Bal Harbour.
A vacation to the Sunshine State took a dark turn for the Orgen family when, they said, they had a run-in with a group spewing antisemitism.
“It was one of our Jewish holidays. We were visiting in Florida,” victim Jamie Orgen said. “We saw a white SUV, four people in the car, rolled their windows down and were harassing the other Jews that were walking near us, yelling ‘Free Palestine, F- you, Jews. Die, Jews.'”
Organ, who is 16, and her father, Eric Orgen, said it happened at around 7 p.m. on Tuesday near Collins Avenue and Harbour Way.
“I mean, my first instinct was to put Jamie and my wife and the friend that we were with just behind me in case anything happened, I would take the brunt of whatever it was,” Eric said.
Then, the Orgens said the people in the SUV turned their attention towards them.
“Then, they started yelling at us, yelling horrible things,” Jamie said. “‘We’re going to rape your wife. We’re going rape your daughter.'”
However, the Orgens said it was not just insults and vulgar language that was hurled their way.
”Threw some garbage at us, a cup of water, I believe,” Jamie said.
The Orgens said a good Samaritan jumped in to help the family.
“A gentleman in the car behind them actually got in between, and he showed a gun to get them to get away from us, and they took off,” Eric said.
Tuesday’s incident is the latest example of a recent string of antisemitic acts in South Florida.
Days prior, Nazi markings were painted on a Miami bus stop.
“This stuff is not OK,” said a woman regarding the bus stop.
Last week, a van covered with hateful messages aimed at the Jewish community was also spotted in Miami.
The acts occurred as tensions between Israel and Hamas remain high, although the two parties have since agreed to a cease-fire. Eric said a video shot by his daughter in Israel shows the conflict unfold.
Back in Bal Harbour, Mayor Gabriel Groisman spoke out about the latest incident and a rise in hateful behavior across the country.
“These are all horrific incidents that are happening,” he said. “The Jewish community is responding with strength and with pride, and we will not cower in fear because of some incidents from individuals like this.”
As for the Orgens, they have filed a police report and hope the people involved are caught quickly.
“I do perceive this as a hate crime,” Eric said. “It’s a scary world we live in, but the world is big enough for everybody to live peacefully. We all bleed red.”
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava also recently spoke out against any acts of antisemitism.
Bal Harbour Police are searching for the people involved in the latest incident.
If you have any information on this antisemitic act, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.
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