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Bonita Springs Rabbi reacts to two teens sentenced for antisemitic hate crime

Posted at 11:11 PM, Mar 23, 2022

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — “The more education there is, the more awareness there is…the less chance of these things repeating themselves,” says Rabbi Mendy Greenberg of Chabad of Bonita Springs.

Education is what Rabbi Greenberg has been hoping for all along.

It comes after his own home in Bonita Springs was tagged by two teens - writing the word "Jews" in graffiti, they also smashed his car window and destroyed his mailbox.

The incident was one of many antisemitic crimes at that time - which prompted Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno to condemn it.

That zero-tolerance attitude is what got those teens hit with the Florida hate crime enhancement statute.

According to the state attorney's office - now both teens will be placed on probation, which includes community service and a curfew.

They also have to attend a neighborhood accountability board with their parents.

Rabbi Greenberg will also be there at that meeting.

“I hope that they’ll be able to appreciate Judaism, and hopefully in the future they’ll be advocates for the Jewish community,” says Greenberg.

He added this sentencing doesn't only bring closure - but awareness - needed on behalf of the Southwest Florida Jewish community.

“I’m not looking for punishment, I’m looking for rehabilitation. For something to be rectified, for a wrong to be righted.”