This is an incomplete list of those who have been exceptionally helpful and generous in the wake of the vandalism to the synagogue. Thank you, beyond words.
Mayor Melissa DeMarco
Councilman Vasco Watters
The Mount Dora Police Department, led by Chief Randall Scoggins and Detective Adam Helfant, assisted by Det. Pat Thomas, Lt. Coy Hunter, Lt. Robert Bell, Sgt. Steve Young, Cpl. Kate Siemer, Ofc. Adam McCulloch, Ofc. Raih Graham, Ofc. Ivey Severance
Pisces Rising restaurant
Yada Yada Pottery
Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce
Rev. Dr. Tom Biery, First Presbyterian Church
Pastor Cynthia DeVos, First Presbyterian Church and her husband Peter and 2 grandkids
First Presbyterian Church - Womens Association
Rev. Dr. Richard Don, Congregational Church
Rev. Ricardo Moore and wife Danyel, Saving Faith Baptist Church
Rev. Edward Bartle, St. Edward's Episcopal Church,
Janet Westlake, First United Methodist Church
Christine Newton, Youth Leader, First United Methodist Church
Father Blase RomanoRobert and Bonnie McKee
Ed Brooks and the Mount Dora Community Trust
Brian and Gayle Bogue
Congregation Beth Shalom of Leesburg
Rabbi Bruce Ginsburg of Cong. Sons of Israel, Woodmere, NY
Walt and Gwen Miner
Chakham Isaac Sassoon of Brooklyn NY
Howard and Margaret Scharfenberg
Daniel and Carol Greenberg
Rabbi Professor David Novak, Ph.D. and Mrs. Melva Novak, of Toronto, Canada
Rabbi Noah Gradofsky, Esq.
Milwaukee Jewish Federation
Jeff and Faye Greenwald
Mr. Braxton Miller
First United Methodist Church of Mount Dora
St. Patrick Catholic Church
Mr. and Mrs. Kevin McFarland
Mr. and Mrs. Alan Grant
Ms. Linda Smith
Mr. and Mrs. James and Elsie Jackson
Mr. and Mrs. Jason and Gail Burgos
Mr. and Mrs. Melvin and Elizabeth Greeley
The following was written in response to the vandalism and the Community's efforts in the aftermath
For it is that I have good news.
The synagogue building, just about two weeks now out from opening for our first services, was vandalized sometime in the early hours of Saturday morning.
And no - I’m not meshugeneh - that isn’t the good news.
What I am is amazed - and the good news is the response I saw from the Mount Dora Community.
It was still early Saturday morning, I hadn’t even davvened - said my morning prayers yet, when a Mount Dora officer I knew personally arrived - I thought it was an odd time for a social call, but okay.
That turned out not to be the case.
The officer informed me that the shul had been vandalized - really horrid things had been spray-painted on our brand new walls - I was shown pictures of the damage.
What to do? I davvened and then walked to the synagogue.
By the time I arrived, not only were there police and sheriffs, but the Mayor, a Councilman, the GC, and several of the local Christian clergy.
The cleanup effort had already been organized and was underway.
Throughout the morning more and more of the Mount Dora Community arrived to lend support and to join in the restoration efforts.
Mount Dora understood that it was not a synagogue that was defaced.
It was the whole community that was vandalized.
And the community responded.
All while I just watched in amazement.
My wife and I had felt alone and isolated as we sat, listening to the initial police report.
We were worried about having to beat the bushes on Sunday, to rally folks to clean up and repair the damage so we could go on with finishing the building and actually start to use it.
Instead, I found, when I arrived at the shul, an overwhelming outpouring of support and help.
Unlooked for, unasked for (it was the Shabbath, after all), unexpected.
But so, so welcome.
We moved to Mount Dora, we started a synagogue in Mount Dora, because we believe Mount Dora was the right place for us.
What occurred in the wee hours was not Mount Dora.
What occurred as the day went on.
That was Mount Dora.
Barukh Hashem - Thank God - Mount Dora is replete with good, good people.
Bivrakhah - blessings
Rabbi Chayyim GZ Solomon
The Traditional Congregation