Randolph Bracy touts security system grant for Jewish center

Randolph Bracy
It's a safety grant with ramifications for CD 10 Democratic Primary Election campaign.

In the wake of $3.1 billion of the Governor’s vetoes revealed last week, Democratic Sen. Randolph Bracy Tuesday touted $150,000 that got through into the budget to help Central Florida’s Roth Family Jewish Community Center.

“Amidst all the gun violence we’ve seen across the country and amidst the threats that the Jewish centers have had, I think it’s important to pause and to acknowledge this appropriation that the state has prioritized to protect Jewish centers, specifically this one. And hopefully we can expand that to others throughout the state,” Bracy said Tuesday at the Jewish center in Maitland, while children played in the pool behind him.

While Bracy was at the center in his official capacity as a Senator, the visit may also be seen as strategic to his campaign for Congress in Florida’s 10th Congressional District, which now includes Maitland.

He’s in a battle with young political activist Maxwell Alejandro Frost, the Rev. Terence Gray, civil rights lawyer Natalie Jackson and others for the Democratic Primary Election nomination. The seat is open. The district, now covering much of Orange County, has a strong Democratic lean.

On Tuesday, Bracy expressed the need to support Central Florida’s Jewish community. Last year, he was endorsed by the pro-Israel political action committee of the Democratic Majority for Israel.

“It’s important to combat antisemitism as a whole. I think the Jewish community here as well as across the country knows how I have been a supporter of their causes,” Bracy said. “I expect to get support here from the local community, and probably out of D.C. also.”

He also turned back to the immediacy of the grant, going to a Jewish center that has received direct threats of violence, and is a standing potential target of the nation’s ongoing antisemitic hatred.

“I think it’s important to know that the state of Florida has prioritized protecting Jewish centers, but also to combat gun violence,” Bracy said.

Keith Dvorchik, chief executive officer of the Roth Family Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando, noted last month’s mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, where people inside the school, particularly inside classrooms with the gunman, apparently were unable to communicate with police in the hallway.

Dvorchik said the state grant will allow the center to replace internal communications systems so that teachers and staff in the center’s school, recreation center and other facilities will be able to communicate directly with law enforcement and other first responders in the event of a crisis.

“Working with Sen. Bracy, we were able to apply for the funding to not only help keep people here safe, it helps keep first responders safe. It helps keep law enforcement safe,” Dvorchik said.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]


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