Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Jewish Ex-Con Gets 30 Years for Torching Florida Mosque

(JTA) — A Jewish ex-convict was sentenced to 30 years in prison for setting fire to a mosque that the Orlando nightclub shooter occasionally attended.

Joseph Schreiber, 32, pleaded no contest Monday in a hearing in the district courthouse in Fort Pierce, Florida, and was also ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution. He had confessed to police that he set fire to the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce last September 11, the 15th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Omar Mateen was killed by police officers after opening fire at the Pulse nightclub on June 12 in a rampage that killed 49 people and wounded 53.

The fire destroyed the mosque, causing more than $100,000 in damages, and the leaders recently announced they would move it to a new location. Mateen’s father is among the some 100 regular worshippers at the mosque.

Before he was sentenced, Schreiber read a written statement, saying he had acted not out of hate, but anxiety.

“My message is this to all the Muslim communities on the face of the earth: Make peace with America and make peace with Israel and stop the killings, stop the attacks,” he said.






    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.