Chabad of Southside to unveil new outdoor event space amid rise in antisemitism across Florida

Carter Mudgett, Editor in Chief

The Chabad of Southside — an organization providing religious, educational and social services to the Jewish community in Jacksonville — will unveil a new outdoor space on Sunday. 

Its new “Model Family Terrace by the Lake” venue will be dedicated to Dr. Dmitriy Model, a local physician and University of North Florida alum, and the event will recognize him and his family. 

Rabbi Schmuli Novack, who leads the Chabad with his family, said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a real need for an outdoor space that was safe and accessible. 

This new outdoor space will mark a “giant step forward for Southside’s Jewish renaissance,” Novack said in a press release.

“An all-time high”

Even as more families join Jacksonville’s Jewish community, the Anti-Defamation League reported two weeks ago that antisemitic incidents in Florida have more than doubled since 2020.

A total of 3,697 incidents of assault, harassment, and vandalism were reported to ADL nationally in 2022 — a 36% increase from the 2,717 incidents ADL recorded the year prior.

Florida was the state with the fourth-many recorded antisemitic incidents, totaling 269. The states with the highest number of incidents were:

  1. New York with 580
  2. California with 518
  3. New Jersey with 408
  4. Florida with 269
  5. Texas with 211

South Florida counties specifically saw a 38% increase in 2022 but so did other counties, including Duval where 28 incidents happened. 

Celebrating community

The dedication event will feature a musical performance by renowned singer-songwriter Paul Toshner AKA ‘Baby Tosh’ and award-winning Kosher BBQ pitmaster Warren Rockmacher, the “Godfather of Kosher Barbecue.”

“The [University of North Florida] has grown tremendously since I went here, the campus might be 3 or 4 times the size,” Dr. Model said in a release. “This means a lot to me because I want the students to have a space where they can study, relax and unwind. To feel like they have a home on the huge campus.”


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