JACKSONVILLE, Fla — A Florida congressman is calling on the Department of Justice to address anti-Semitism in several major Florida cities, including Jacksonville.
Residents in the Osprey Pointe neighborhood found anti-Semitic flyers on their lawns a week ago.
‘This is a very nice neighborhood, very respectable, so having something like that in our yard was very shocking,’ resident Jennifer Stelmach said.
Stelmach said her husband found anti-Semitic literature on their front lawn. Down the street, Jenna Hood said her mom brought the flyer inside.
‘It had a lot of hate in it about Jewish people and just saying like you should stay away from them,’ Hood said.
Neither of them know who did it and neither of them stand for it.
‘To put negativity out there is unnecessary,’ Stelmach said.
Neighbors didn’t keep the flyers but they said they were thrown onto lawns in plastic baggies filled with rocks.
It’s similar to another incident Action News Jax first told you about in June when some people drove around a St. Nicholas neighborhood tossing out anti-gay material.
It isn’t only happening in Jacksonville but also in Miami, Coral Gables, Orlando, Fort Pierce and more.
Congressman Charlie Crist penned a letter about the matter citing other local news outlets in the respective cities. He said other reports of anti-Semitic flyers focusing in gun control and immigration were tossed onto Floridians’ lawns, even messages about media control and COVID.
According to the letter, each topic tied back to a hateful message about the Jewish community. He also added according to the Anti-Defamation League, anti-Semitic incidents were up 34% nationwide and over 50% in Florida.
Here at home, Jacksonville residents say they’re not interested in reading any hateful message.
‘No one actually wants to read about that,’ Hood said.
Chabad of Southside Rabbi Shumli Novack said this isn’t new.
‘It’s always very disappointing,’ Rabbi Novack said.
He said when something like this happens it should serve as a call to action, which he applauds lawmakers for.
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‘We’re very grateful to our public officials who are stepping up to the plate recognizing an evil and responding to it,’ Rabbi Novack said. ‘It’s a reminder that we always have to remain vigilant and we have to make sure the Jewish community centers and organizations are safe and welcoming to the community.’
Residents said they have no idea who tossed the flyers here, but they said this is the first time they know of it happening.
Click here to view the letter Congressman Charlie Crist wrote.