30 Florida rabbis, representing a large portion of the orthodox spectrum, gathered Wednesday in Ft. Lauderdale with United States Senatorial candidate Marco Rubio.
Rubio, the Republican candidate leading in the poles, expressed his appreciation to the community leaders, educators, and Rabbis for their openness and support.
He was accompanied by Florida House of Representatives’ Majority leader Adam Hasner, who stated that in his years in public service he was extremely impressed that these rabbis who represent over 30,000 Jews.
In his remarks, Rubio addressed many of the concerns of the Jewish voters including his position on Israel and issues faced by many communities in South Florida.
Funding for faith based organizations and security funding for schools were high on the agenda of the yeshiva principals in attendance who represented thousands of children in their schools, including the Lubavitch Education Center, Yeshiva Toras Emes, and the Weinbaum Yeshiva High School.
Joining some 20 Chabad Shluchim, were representatives of Agudah, OU, Young Israel congregations, the Sefardic community, NCSY and a representitive of Chesed of South Florida and rabbis representing the Russian Jewish community
The issue of school vouchers and job creation were discussed as they represent a high priority in Jewish community life.
Rabbi Yehuda Kaploun of North Miami Beach presented Rubio with a Mezuzah and on behalf of the gathered community leaders looked forward to placing the Mezuzah on the doorpost of his new office in the U.S. Senate building in Washington D.C.
Rubio sated it would be his pleasure to have the rabbis join him in his office to affix it.
In his remarks, Kaploun related the story in the Talmud (Avodah Zara) of the Rabbi who received a large diamond as a gift and had given a Mezuzah as a gift in return. The recipient questioned the value of the small hand written parchment in relation to the diamond. The Rabbi’s response clarified the issue by saying that the diamond requires protection, whereas the Mezuzah provides protection for those inside the home.
“Rubio himself a religious man, has remained consistent in his positions and expressed his understanding of faith and the freedom this country provides to every individual to practice their religious beliefs,” said Kaploun, head of the Moses and Aaron Foundation.
He concluded his remarks by thanking the entire group and made a commitment to remain a friend of the Jewish community and Israel and continue to address local concerns in his position as the new senator from Florida.