Ponte Vedra community holds free bagel giveaway with goal of combatting hate

Ponte Vedra Beach community members are pushing for people to stand up against hate.

The Beth El The Beaches Synagogue in Ponte Vedra teamed up with the University of Florida Hillel chapter and several other Northeast Florida organizations on Sunday to hold a bagel giveaway.

It is part of a program called “Spread Cream Cheese, not hate” that was started by UF’s Hillel.

This program incentivizes community members to sign a pledge that aims to stop hate in exchange for a free, delicious bagel.

The former president of the synagogue, Tammy Shumer, told News4Jax that she wanted her community to get involved with the program after Antisemitic messages were displayed on the CSX building and EverBank stadium in Downtown Jacksonville in 2023.

“Everyone really wanted to get involved and then after October 7th happened, and it was really on the forefront of everyone’s minds. What can we do to bring some light to so much hate?” Shumer said.

Shumer wanted to make it clear that this program does not simply focus on Antisemitism but all forms of hate.

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