South Florida reacts to deadly synagogue attack in California

A deadly attack on a California synagogue over the weekend put temples in South Florida on notice — again.

Exactly six months ago, a gunman killed 11 people and wounded seven others during Saturday morning services at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, shouting “All Jews must die!” before opening fire.

That attack prompted synagogues throughout South Florida to step up security.

The suspected gunman in Saturday’s attack at the Chabad of Poway near San Diego — 19-year-old John T. Earnest — has been arrested after killing one and injuring three. He was reportedly motivated by the shooting in Pittsburgh.

Amid the heightened security come questions about what’s behind the hate crimes.

“Anti-Semitism is like a virus,” said Paul Plotkin, a retired rabbi from Temple Beth Am in Margate. “Sometimes it appears to be dormant. But it never disappears.”

Plotkin says today’s political climate has only fueled the fire of hate.

“It’s very dangerous and scary,” he said. “It’s really unnerving.”

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