Local Chabad rabbis used a meeting Monday morning with Florida governor Rick Scott to advocate for a mandated daily “moment of silence” in public schools in the wake of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, according to Chabad.org.
Rabbis from Chabad outposts near Parkland, Florida, where a teenaged gunman killed 17 people at a high school last week, pushed Scott to impose a daily “moment of silence,” a longstanding Chabad proposal framed as an alternative to school prayer.
“What we are trying to do here is be proactive, go to the heart of the matter, and not just be reactive to the tragedy,” Rabbi Hershy Friedman, one of the Florida rabbis who met with Scott, told Chabad.org.
One Chabad rabbi told Scott that the moment of silence proposal was not meant to replace the debate over policy changes after the shooting. “Not to take away, G‑d forbid, from the gun conversation, the mental health conversation, the security conversation,” the rabbi, Yossi Biston, said.
Scott also met privately this week with students from the high school where the shooting took place. But he declined an invitation to a televised CNN town hall on the shooting, attended by Sen. Marco Rubio and a National Rifle Association spokeswoman.
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.
Chabad Rabbis Advocate For School ‘Moment of Silence’ After Florida Shooting