Orthodox Union Applauds Enactment of Florida Anti-Hate Bill That Will Help Curb Antisemitism

Posted on April 27, 2023 In Press Releases

From Left to Right: Rep. Randy Fine, Governor Ron DeSantis, and Rep. Mike Caruso at the signing of the bill in Jerusalem. Image courtesy of the Orthodox Union.

Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (“Orthodox Union”) – the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, commends Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ signing of HB 269, an anti-hate bill that would strengthen the state’s ability to fight antisemitism.

We thank State Representatives Randy Fine and Mike Caruso, and State Senator Alexis Calatayud for sponsoring and delivering the Bill for the Governor to sign in Jerusalem. The Orthodox Union was proud to support the passage of this important legislation.

Recently, Florida has seen far too many incidents of antisemitism. 56.1% of the reported religion-based hate crimes in 2020 targeted the Jewish community nationally. In 2020, hate crimes against Jews accounted for 80.0% of the religiously motivated incidents in Florida. According to the latest ADL Hate Crime Reports from Florida.

HB 269 escalates the harassment of individuals from a misdemeanor to a third-degree felony.

It prohibits people from distributing material onto public property to intimidate or threaten others. It also criminalizes the harassment of people wearing anything that identifies their religious or ethnic heritage.

Orthodox Union Executive Director for Public Policy Nathan Diament stated:

“We are grateful to the governor and state representatives who heard the concerns of the Jewish community and put into action legislation that will help curb the rise in antisemitic attacks. Florida Jews are blessed to live in a state where their leaders share a concern for their well-being. It’s no wonder the Jewish community there is growing and thriving.”

Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Rabbi Moshe Hauer stated:

“American Jews, and people of all faiths, must be able to go about their lives and enjoy the freedom to worship along with freedom from fear. We are grateful for the leaders of Florida who are working to ensure these freedoms prevail in the face of those who hate.”