Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, surrounded by state legislators and Jewish leaders, visited a South Florida Jewish temple to denounce anti-Semitism and stand with Israel. The Republican governor cloaked himself in religion Monday while signing a bill into law that would require public schools in his state to set aside at least one minute of silence for children to meditate or pray.
His visit to a Jewish community center in Surfside, Florida, had the air of a campaign event. Desantis seem to blush when the Rabbi Sholom Lipskar introduced him as a “great governor and future world Leader.” There is speculation that after his reelection next year continuing his governorship, he might run for president in 2024.
Desantis visited the temple to sign two bills into law. One would expand the role of volunteer ambulance services, while the other makes Florida one of at least 15 states that would compel schools to hold moments of silence at public schools, according to a legislative analysis.
“It’s something that’s important to be able to provide each student the ability, every day, to be able to reflect and to be able to pray as they see fit. The ideal that you can just push God out of every institution and be successful, I’m sorry, our founding fathers did not believe that,” Desantis said.
DeSantis used this event to tout his support for Israel, which he visited in his first year of office. During his speech, he referred to the United Nations as corrupt, saying the world body does more to sanction Israel than castigate China, which he lumped with what he referred to as rogue regimes.
The ambulance bill allows some volunteer first responders, including those run by faith-based groups, to use emergency lights and sirens when responding to emergencies. Some Orthodox Jews rely on these volunteer ambulance services to help overcome religious sensitivities that prevent some people from using traditional emergency services.
The ambulance bill was championed in the state Senate by Democrat Jason Pizzo, the only elected Democrat to take the stage with the governor during the bill signings.
The ambulance bill was championed in the state Senate by Democrat Jason Pizzo, the only elected Democrat to take the stage with the governor during the bill signings. He also supported the legislation requiring the time of silence and said, “Students won’t be required to pray during those moments set aside by the schools, it’s like a moment of meditation, relaxations, connection.”