In response to two antisemitic incidents that took place in early January in South Tampa, Florida, the Tampa JCCs and Federation has issued an alert to members of the local Jewish community to report any instances of antisemitic activity they encounter.
The Federation said it was “deeply disappointed” and noted that “as an organization and a community, we find hateful acts like this disturbing and unacceptable.”
Mark Segel, director of strategic initiatives for the JCCs and Federation, told the Jewish Press of Pinellas County that both incidents took place at the beginning of January.
In one case, a portable toilet in a residential construction site in South Tampa was defaced with a spray painted Star of David inside a circle with a slash through it. Segal said that the home owner and the owner of the construction company are not Jewish.
The second reported incident, coming days later, involved a group of students at Coleman Middle School in South Tamp who handed out flyers for a new club for Jewish students. One of the flyers that they placed on a wall was defaced.
The construction site vandalism is being investigated by Tampa police after a nearby Jewish resident called them about the graffiti.
The flyer incident was handled internally by school staff and a school resource officer, according to Tampa Police. The Federation’s former president Joe Probasco was also consulted.
“We’re fortunate and grateful we have the full support of the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County, the Tampa Police Department and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office to help try to ensure our safety and see that those responsible are held accountable. Battling all acts of hate and antisemitism continues to be one of our highest priorities,” the Federation statement said.