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We Must Unite Against Hate

By Hallandale Beach Mayor, Joy Cooper

November 29, 2023

Antisemitism has been around for thousands of years. The Jewish people were first under siege in 740 BCE when Assyria invaded Jerusalem. The Jewish homeland has been evaded, occupied, and displaced for centuries until their independence in the 19th century. But Antisemitism, just like Racism and hate, is a disease that does not have borders. It survives to today because there will be ignorant people that do not understand history and what hatred does to destroy our fellow brothers and sisters. Hatred is taught at a young age.

My colleagues have spoken out against Antisemitism and Hammas and Hezbollah. We will continue to do so. Vice Mayor Anabelle Lima -Taub was born in Israel where her mother fled Russian Communism and then migrated to the United States. She shared an observation that warrants repeating and repeating.

Many of the tropes against Jews that involve education, jobs as doctors lawyers engineers and scientists, owning successful businesses are not only hateful but due to the fact people are ignorant of the simple fact the Jewish people have been persecuted for so long they have had to educate and fend for themselves as a group.

Many Antisemites exist but in America as a Democracy there are laws against discrimination. There are even now Hate Crime Laws. But years ago, many doctors, lawyers or businesses would not serve Jews. Just like in America with slavery. Many would not even allow people of color to use our public services. We need to all watch what is going on in our country. WE all need to realize over the past years what those in power have done to erode our democracy. Studying the background of leaders is vital. Don’t just depend on FOX or CNN. This goes for both sides. Hate has been here and now has been glamorized or placated by those in high office. We cannot go back.

Before Thanksgiving and before anyone could even imagine that Israel would once again be invaded in a brutal unprovoked attack Mayor Dean Trantalis Cities Unite Against Hate. With the support of his city and on behalf of the CAM Combat Antisemitism Movement. The event was still held with Mayors from around the globe. This movement of mayors is speaking out and supporting efforts to educate and stand united against Antisemitism and all forms of hate. To date over 700 mayors in the United States alone have signed in partnership with the American Jewish Congress. I am very proud to be one of them.

On the last day of the conference, we were all welcomed to the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center in Dania Beach. I have served on their board and since the COVID-19 Pandemic, I have not had a chance to visit. It has truly grown and many of the projects envisioned by the board have been built. This is thanks to many donors and our Governor and legislators. They have supported the center and its important work for years through funding. They passed “Legacy Of Remembrance” for all our children so they will know Never Again.

We all figured it would be a coffee and a tour, but it turned out to be an extremely emotional visit. We were blessed to hear the testimonies of four Holocaust Survivors. All were young children and survived by the grace of many people who at their own risk hid sheltered and in some cases raised them. I cannot share every story, but I did my best to record them live on my Facebook page and will make them into reels. I encourage readers to go on and listen to them.

What was and is extremely sad is that after all their pain and suffering they are witnessing once again the hatred of those brainwashed against Jews. They are witnessing once again a Holocaust. Their messages and warnings rang true. We need to continue to stand up and speak out against all forms of hate. One survivor spoke with such a strong message about teaching children in our homes kindness. Teach all children not to bully. Teach all children that hatred of any form is simply wrong. This is one of the main goals of the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center.

There are approximately 1000 survivors left in South Florida. If you are one and have not shared your story you need to. Those doing this important work at the center are extremely empathic and can guide you. You can reach out to me or the center. I will make sure to facilitate arrangements with the Director Rositta Kenigsberg who is a dear friend, neighbor and a daughter of a Survivor. If you are one of the brave Liberators you too need to share your story. They have a partner with the Shoah Foundation and have a fully equipped studio. They also are digitizing all old videos.

If you would like to find out more about HDEC you can visit their website at: - Or email them at:

As Hanukkah is this weekend, think about donating and supporting their work. There are many organizations that are supporting Israel and those in harm’s way.

As always please feel free to contact me anytime with your questions, concerns, and ideas to make our City a better place. I am available at: Or: On my Office number at: (954) 457-1318. Or my Cell/Text at: (954) 632-5700. You can always visit my Facebook and follow me at Mayor Joy Cooper.

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