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MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) — Following the mass shooting in Pittsburgh that left 11 dead and six injured, elected officials increased patrol around synagogues on Saturday. It’s something the mayor of Miami Beach said is necessary.
“When there’s an attack on a temple its only going to be expected that jews in places of worship are going to ask, ‘can this happen here?'” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.
In Miami Beach, Hollywood and surrounding cities, elected officials have called for increased security around synagogues. They did the same after the attacks in Brussels and Paris.
“I was sitting in synagogue and my phone kept buzzing,” said Jacob Solomon, the CEO of the Jewish Federation. “When I stepped out to get the call and when I saw the headline my heart just stopped.”
Solomon attended Saturday’s symphony at the New World Center to celebrate Israel’s 70th anniversary.
“It should have been a time of great celebrations,” he said. “I’m sure the concert hall will be filled with people with a heavy heart.”
The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement which said in part, “Our hearts break for the families of those killed and injured at the Tree of LifeSynagogue and for the entire Jewish community… We are actively engaged with law enforcement to support their investigation and call on authorities to investigate this as a hate crime.”
The fight against hate crimes doesn’t begin or end with jews, Solomon said, but it can stop with people who are willing to accept other religions, colors and overall beliefs.
“Every American needs to be concerned about the quality of discourse and hatred that’s in this environment this is a scourge and were all responsible for fighting it,” Solomon said.
Governor Rick Scott has also asked the Florida Highway Patrol to increase security around synagogues as well.