Central Florida synagogues stepping up security after antisemitic demonstrations

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Local synagogue officials said they’re not taking any chances after antisemitic messages have spread through Central Florida.


Rabbi Shalom Dubov, executive director of Chabad of Greater Orlando, said the synagogue has been safety measures, such as a gate, for some time.

But with a hostage standoff at a synagogue in Texas on Jan. 15, security measures are even more heightened.

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“We installed emergency buttons in the front and back of each ... building sections,” Dubov said.

But now, their concerns are close to home. A group identifying itself as the National Socialist Movement wore Nazi insignia and yelled profanities and antisemitic slurs were seen Saturday at Waterford Lakes. On Sunday, demonstrators hung signs full of more antisemitic slurs over I-4 on Daryl Carter Parkway.

“We’re going to put bulletproof windows in the front of the building,” Dubov said.

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Liora Rez, the director of Stop Anti-Semitism, said this is happening at more than just one synagogue.

“We are hearing, yes, security is of the utmost priority to all of them, but they’re hesitant to discuss it because they don’t want to become targets,” Rez said.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.