West Palm Beach, FL – There was joyous singing and dancing along the perimeter of Dreher Park in West Palm Beach on Friday afternoon, as approximately 100 Jewish Floridians lined the shoulder of Southern Boulevard to express their gratitude to President Donald Trump for commuting the sentence of Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin who had already served more than eight years in a federal penitentiary.
The last minute rally was organized by the Aleph Institute which provides assistance to those in crisis including inmates in federal prisons throughout the country and their family.
Organizers had hoped to have members of many shuls and schools throughout South Florida greeting the presidential motorcade as it drove from Palm Beach International Airport to his nearby Mar-a-Lago home, but delays in Trump’s arrival had the rally pushed back from 11 AM to 2 PM, forcing many who had planned to attend to back out because of the extremely close pre-Shabbos timing.
Supporters held pro-Trump signs bearing slogans including “Thank you Mr. President for the Rubashkin Chanukah miracle!” and “Courage to secure justice!! President Trump.” As they waited for the motorcade to approach, Chabad shluchim took advantage of the opportunity to put tefillin on their less-observant brethren who also gathered along the busy roadway.
Mrs. Rishe Deitsh was one of those who was on Southern Boulevard as the presidential motorcade passed by, slowing down for Trump to acknowledge his supporters.
“He was waving, blowing kisses and mouthing the words ‘thank you,’” Mrs. Dietsh told VIN News. “Everyone felt like he was thanking us for thanking him for what he did. What he did was hard and he earned the gratitude of Americans.”
Mrs. Deitsh said that numerous cars slowed down to speak to the group as they waited for the president to pass by.
“So many people, Jews and non-Jews, agreed that this was right thing,” said Mrs. Dietsh. “This was for the United States of America and brings back the belief that we really are ‘one nation, under G-d, with liberty and justice for all’ like we say in the Pledge of Allegiance. The Rubashkin sentence had taken that away from us, but President Trump gave it back.”
Mrs. Deitsh said she never considered not going out to Southern Boulevard to thank the president, even though he passed by the group just two hours before the start of Shabbos.
“I would have done anything to thank the president,” said Mrs. Dietsh.