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May Is Jewish Heritage Month: Hallandale Beach Continues To Make Public Safety Their Top Priority

By Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper

May 2, 2024

May is Jewish Heritage Month. It is a time to celebrate the many contributions our Jewish brothers and sisters have given to the betterment of our society. One would think this proclamation has been declared many times, but it has only been since 2006. President George W. Bush upon the request of The Jewish Museum of Florida and South Florida Jewish Community declared that the month of May would be the month to celebrate the many contributions of Jewish people in the United States. May was chosen since it was the Anniversary Month of documented Jews in America.

After some research, this date is when the first recorded group of Jewish settlers arrived in New Amsterdam aka New York City. In 1654 - 23 refugees from the Portuguese Inquisition came and founded Congregation Shaharith Israel along with some other Jewish traders that had arrived a bit earlier. It is the oldest congregation in the United States.

Sadly, this group was stripped of all their earthly belongings on arrival in New York. Jews have always faced Antisemitism. It did not deter them from continuing to settle and become successful. It needs to be noted that the Dutch who controlled the new colony opposed religious plurality so any religious group other than Protestant Christians were often the victims of persecution.

Over history Jewish diaspora has continued to thrive under the worst of circumstances. Many minorities have but for well over 3,000 years Israelites have been stripped of their Temple in Jerusalem. They have been enslaved, occupied, and stripped of their home. I find it so disheartening that so many have been indoctrinated to believe that the Jewish people are the occupiers of their own land. The Jewish people are in their rightful home. She will continue to fight for her sovereignty while protecting democracy.

These struggles are not new but with the advent of the internet we are seeing firsthand the threats Israel must face. Israel is a wonderful country. It is vibrant and diverse. The world is now faced with how misinformation and attempts at changing thousands of years of history can impact our lives. Propaganda and indoctrination can affect global stability and create unrest even in our country on our own streets.

As we celebrate Jewish History Month the war against Hamas continues in the Middle East and now on college campuses. During this unrest our residents should be assured that our Police Department has remained vigilant since the October 7th Attacks. They remain on heightened alert and vigilant.

Recently concerns have been elevated since a vandal spray painted Antisemitic remarks on the sidewalk at 14th Avenue and Hallandale Beach Boulevard. It was reported early in the morning by pedestrians and immediately covered up and is under investigation. A second incident occurred with red spray paint on a utility pole JEWS BLACKS. It too was immediately covered and is being investigated.

Antisemitism and Racism are not new, but incidents have increased since the Hamas Attack on innocent lives and the kidnapping of hostages. We have been witnessing the continued protests, attacks on campus and on the streets. While our City has been fortunate not to this level of violence these incidents were very alarming and unsettling to all our residents. We will continue to do everything to let residents know we are here and protect them.

We are blessed to have an amazing and caring Chief of Police Michel and City Manager, Dr. Earle. Since day one they have established a high alert protocol. Our police officers have remained under this order.

In a city that is home to a remarkably diverse population we have always been vigilant and swift to respond to incidents. Now more than ever we understand the real concerns and will continue to be vigilant and certainly actively investigating all the hate crimes.

We do need your help! If you see something no matter how small, please report it. If your property has been vandalized, call 911 and report it. We cannot allow these types of hate crimes to go unchecked. We know that many people are afraid of retaliation. We have an anonymous Tip Line at: (954) 457-1404. Please call it and leave all of the pertinent information.

In general, the past year has been a struggle for many of our residents. With the high cost of housing and rents in our area going up, property crimes have increased. Car break-ins and property thefts have gone up in some areas. These are called crimes of opportunity. Owners leave their cars unlocked. Some residents leave valuables in their cars rather than taking them into their homes. It makes them ripe prey for criminals. Even with cars locked and secured, criminals are jacking up cars and stealing the wheels or other parts for resale value.

As a result of these types of street crimes the Chief has established a Street Crimes Unit. This unit is in addition to our regular zone patrols. We have six zones in which there are marked and unmarked officers. They take calls for service. This additional unit does not automatically pick up 911 calls unless they are needed. Their task is surveillance, deterrence and solving crimes.

We are truly committed to protecting every corner of our community. The commission will continue to support our department with the vital resources they need.

I can be reached at: Or: Or Facebook Mayor Joy Cooper. You can always call me on my office number at: (954) 457-1318. Or Call/Text me at: (954) 632-5700 Working for you! Always have! Always will!

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