ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., Nov. 1, 2022 — St. Johns County Board of County Commission Chairman Henry Dean and Clerk of Court and Comptroller Brandon Patty were joined Tuesday by members of St. Johns County’s Jewish community to recognize Nov. 8 as St. Johns County-Israel Friendship Day.
Now in its second year, the annual proclamation sprung from the adoption of a St. Johns County resolution in 2021 to revise the county’s investment policy to no longer invest in companies on Florida’s List of Scrutinized Companies that Boycott Israel.
St. Johns County was the first local government in Florida to address discriminatory “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” (BDS) practices against Israel by updating its investment portfolio.
“Our message was — and is — that here in St. Johns County, we will not support discriminatory practices counter to our American values,” Clerk Patty said. “By proclaiming St. Johns County-Israel Friendship Day, we are declaring that we stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Israel and our Jewish friends and neighbors in St. Johns County in promoting freedom, human rights and security.”
Participating in the program were Rabbi Mendel and Mrs. Dini Sharfstein, Chabad of St. Johns County; Mary Schulten, StandWithUs; Jill Metlin and Tal Mola of the Jewish Federation and Foundation of Northeast Florida; Rabbi Levi Vogel Chabad of S. Augustine; and Sheriff Robert Hardwick.