Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Monday visited a South Florida Lubavitch synagogue to sign into law a bill that requires public schools in his state to set aside at least one minute of silence for children to meditate or pray.
Florida is proud to support security for Jewish day schools, to advance Holocaust education in our schools and to stand against anti-Semitism.https://t.co/A12DGnuFtp
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) June 15, 2021
The governor signed the bill in the Shul of Bal Harbour in Surfside, Florida, which was founded back in 1982 by Rabbi Sholom Dovber Lipskar. DeSantis reportedly blushed when Rabbi Lipskar introduced him as “Great governor and future world leader.” It was a reference to the Republican DeSantis’ plans for a presidential run in 2024.
The Florida Legislature passed the bill in March and it will take effect on July 1, 2021, following the governor’s signature.
Members of both Houses argued that a Moment of Silence, which is mandated in 15 states, gives children an opportunity for “introspection and contemplation in a chaotic world,” as Chabad.org put it (Florida Legislation Passes, Bringing a Moment of Silence to Public Schools).
The governor signed the bill one day after the 27th anniversary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, who was a champion of moral education in schools. Beginning in 1983, the Rebbe spoke increasingly about the concept of a Moment of Silence in America’s schools in the face of rising crime rates and societal dysfunction across the nation.
DeSantis signed another bill at the Bal Harbour shul, expanding the role of volunteer ambulance services such as Hatzalah. The “ambulance bill” allows volunteer first response groups, including those run by faith-based organizations, to use emergency lights and sirens when responding to emergencies in the state of Florida.
The bill was authored by Democratic State Senator Jason Pizzo, who was the only elected Democrat to accompany the governor for the bill signings. Pizzo also supported the moment of silence bill.
DeSantis was heckled at the event when he mentioned his support for Israel and said the United Nations was corrupt—seeing as it sanctions Israel instead of the rogue regime in China.
Police forcibly removed the heckler from the place.