NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion C Palm Beach CountyPalm Beach


Summit held in Palm Beach tackles antisemitism after 360% increase in incidents across US

Rabbi Shneor Minsky says he's received an increase in calls, messages from people concerned about facing antisemitism
Posted at 12:13 AM, Mar 21, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-21 00:18:07-04

PALM BEACH, Fla. — People gathered at a conference in Palm Beach on Wednesday to discuss ways to combat antisemitism.

The conference, organized by Palm Beach Synagogue, discussed antisemitism while the war between Israel and Hamas has become an issue in American politics. Antisemitic incidents have increased by 360% in the U.S. after the attacks by Hamas on Israel on Oct. 7, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Rabbi Shneor Minsky, who is the outreach director for Palm Beach Synagogue, said the conference's purpose is to help other people fight against antisemitism. He said the attacks and issues surrounding Israel have made the conference's mission more urgent.

"Everyone has a different way that they can affect their non-Jewish neighbor, there alma mater and their local friends," Minksky said.


Florida poised to redefine antisemitism as bill heads to DeSantis

Forrest Saunders
7:47 PM, Feb 29, 2024

Rabbi Shneor Minsky explains what he hopes the summit will achieve.
Rabbi Shneor Minsky explains what he hopes the summit will achieve.

He said he's received an increase in calls and messages from people concerned about facing antisemitism. Minsky said he sold out the conference, but he didn't see an increase in attendance due to the venue's size capacity.

Ben Trachtenberg, who is an associate dean at the University of Missouri's Law School, said events like this show solidarity and help people to make new connections. He said he's struggling to run events about Israel at his synagogue because people get so passionate about the topic.

"People have very deeply held opinions about hard issues," Trachtenberg said. "You could be the most pro-Israel person in the world and still feel bad for civilians getting killed in a war that isn't their fault. If some 7-year-old has a bomb dropped on his house, how could you not feel bad for them even if you know war is hell."

Ben Trachtenberg was among the speakers at the antisemitism summit.
Ben Trachtenberg was among the speakers at the summit focused on combating antisemitism.

Trachtenberg believes people became louder about their hate for Jewish people after the attacks.

Adam Levitt said he's faced antisemitism while growing up. He said he came to the conference to learn more ways to fight hatred at the local level, which he said was a success

"There's so few of us that we are truly responsible," Levitt said. "Because if we don't speak out, who will, right? I think today I realized I can't live in fear and push that line and be outspoken."