Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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Florida Jewish Food Festival Sign Vandalized with Antisemitic Slogan

Vandals rearranged letters on a sign announcing the postponement of the Jewish Food Festival in Venice, Florida prompting a strong reaction from Rabbi Ben Shull of the Jewish Congregation of Venice.

“I am angered by this act of vandalism against our congregation,” Rabbi Shull said of the incident, which took place the night of Dec. 14th, after a portable sign announcing the postponement was placed outside the center, which is off of Auburn Road. “We will not let such cowardly acts of hatred cause us to back away from living proudly as Jews and active members of the larger Venice community. 

“We are confident that our many friends throughout the area will join us in speaking out about antisemitism,” he added. “We will continue our efforts, along with the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee and the Venice Interfaith Community Association, to educate the larger community about the nature and sources of anti-Semitism.”

In July, two synagogues in Sarasota were vandalized with antisemitic graffiti, with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s office charging a suspect shortly thereafter. In October, the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee hired its first community security director.

The letters on the sign were rearranged to reflect an antisemitic statement. Eli Rapaport, Security Chairman for the synagogue, promptly notified Venice police, as well as Jeff Solomon, security director of the Jewish Federation in Sarasota, and JCV President Harvey Cohen. 

Cohen stated that “it is unfortunate that this act of antisemitism has occurred. The JCV will continue to support both the Jewish and non-Jewish community. We look forward to welcoming everyone to our February 2022 food festival.”