COOPER CITY (CBSMiami) – Some Cooper City families were trying to spread a little holiday happiness throughout their neighborhood, but instead received anti-Semitic notes about their big, bright displays.
“The whole idea of the menorah is it brings light to the world, and every night it brings a little bit more light and joy,” Malky Goodman said.
But Goodman’s good intentions were met by hateful words.
“There was a note in my mailbox about my menorah on my car,” Goodman said. “My heart was broken and so was everyone else’s it is really sad.”
The Goodmans were not the only ones targeted with anti-Semitic notes.
Greg, who lives with his family in the same Monterra neighborhood, got one as well.
“My note said Christmas is not for Jews,” he said. “It’s sad to hear that type of language.”
Greg believes it was his holiday display that sparked the outrage, but doesn’t understand why.
“We enjoy seeing Christmas lights. It is not part of our faith, but it is part of the holiday,” he said. “In the past two years we have put up more holiday decorations that are geared towards Hanukkah. The kids in the neighborhood love seeing that the bear with the cradle. It’s festive, it’s fun and that’s it. We’re trying to do create nice fun environment for kids.”
A neighborhood he says is filled with kids, including the Goodmans, who are now are concerned for their safety.
“I have little kids. They play outside, they show that they’re Jewish – and I’m proud that I’m Jewish – they’re outside wearing a Yakama,” explained Goodman. “To know that there’s someone out there that has hatreds towards us, it’s scary.”
Although they’re concerned and heartbroken, they said this type of hatred will not deter them from celebrating their festival of lights.
“We are going to buy more decorations to strengthen our presence with the Hanukkah spirit,” Greg said.
At Nur-Ul-Islam Academy in Cooper City, a despicable message greeted people as they arrived – an expletive then the word Muslims.
People leaving the school said they are steps to enhance their security.
“We are taking measures,” one woman said.
Faisal Haroon – who attended evening prayers at the academy Monday – said he believes vandalism like this is the fallout of politicians taking verbal potshots at Muslims.
“If we are not peaceful, we are not following the religion,” he said.
And at a mosque in Margate Monday, leaders took aim at security for its’ members. They simulated a scenario where someone came in shooting. They trained members to follow law enforcement response to such situations — run, hideand if absolutely necessary fight back.
“You need to have an action plan to deal with these emergencies,” said Nezar Hamze, with the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
CAIR says members need to be on guard.
“It means that we need to be alert,” said Wilfredo Ruiz, CAIR’s Legal Counsel. “It could happen in a church, it could happen in a Planned Parenthood office, it could happen in a mosque as well.”
At the school, the principal said that they believe this is an isolated incident at the mosque and that they feel safe and protected by this community.
If you know who is responsible for any of this vandalism, you are urged to contact Broward Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS.