AJC donates to rebuilding of Florida mosque destroyed by arson

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — The American Jewish Committee has donated funds to help rebuild a Florida mosque destroyed by arson.

Robert Silverman, the AJC’s director of Muslim-Jewish Relations, visited the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce, in central Florida, on Friday to deliver the donation and speak to worshippers at a morning prayer service.

“When Jews were persecuted in Europe during the time of the Inquisition centuries ago, they took shelter in Islamic lands,” Silverman told the assembled, according to an AJC statement. “Welcoming those refugees was an act of kindness that will never be forgotten by the Jewish people. Today, AJC is honored to give back in a small, symbolic way.

“An attack on any house of worship is an affront to all Americans, regardless of their religious affiliation. Burning a mosque is a hate crime condemned by the entire American Jewish community.”

The alleged perpetrator of the arson, Joseph Michael Schreiber, 32, reportedly is Jewish. Schreiber, an ex-convict, is facing at least 30 years in prison if convicted of the attack, which has been classified as a hate crime.

Schreiber, who has posted anti-Islamic material on social media, allegedly set the fire on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

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