UF Jewish community reacts to Spencer
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WGFL) - The University of Florida has one of the largest Jewish student populations in the nation.
In light of white nationalist Richard Spencer’s arrival, the Lubavitch Chabad Student Jewish Center is extending its hours for people to come together and promote love, not hate.
Fara Moskowitz, president of UF’s Jewish student group, said a lot of her friends are leaving town or doing whatever they can to stay away from campus during Spencer’s visit.
"Right now I feel like our whole world is living in fear," Moskowitz said.
Rabbi Berl Goldman, director of the Jewish Student Center, said he’s received a lot of phone calls from family and alumni who are concerned about students' safety.
"Some are angry, some are fearful, some are upset and understandably so,” Goldman said.
Dr. Norman Goda, a professor of Jewish studies, is concerned about safety as well.
"I’m all for free speech but speech that promotes violence is in another category … we saw what happened in Charlottesville," Goda said.
The Labavitch Chabad center is made to be a safe haven for students. Moskowitz said the center is extending its hours so students can unite and fight the hate.
"We are spreading this 'Do Good UF' to spread love and positivity because we need to bring light to the darkness; we need to show love even when there is evil,” Moskowitz said.
This campaign was created in hopes that students will choose random acts of kindness in response to the hate group.
"If every religion and every culture that ever felt oppressed said let's work together and beat this ...our lives can drastically change, our society can drastically change," she said.
The center will also have special security protocols to make sure it's safe and secure for all students.