In Judaism, 13 is a blessed number, as it is the age of accountability for boys to spiritually and ritually become men, taking on the responsibilities of an adult. 13 is momentous mindfulness, the beginning of a new life cycle.
After 13 years of antisemitic persecution in South Florida’s Manatee County, our family was evicted from my Dad’s beloved modest condominium for the sake of Judenrein at Heritage Village West Condominiums (HVW) – the absence of Jews, as a former Board Officer had expressly vowed to drive out the Jews.
The perfect storm of antisemitism in Florida’s capital of antisemitism, scenic Manatee County, involves willing lawyers, organizations, neighbors, community leaders, judges, and clergy, none of whom will object to or protest against decades of grotesque discrimination against Jews. It is the perfect storm amidst the ravages of the COVID pandemic, when life stopped for awhile but not hate.
Like the viral pandemic, Jew-hatred is a highly-contagious disease, passing easily from person to person, group to group, neighbor to neighbor, congregant to fellow worshipper, community to nearby community, state to state, and nation to nation. Like the corona pandemic, it must be eradicated. In Manatee County in 13 years of persecution, not a single official spoke or demonstrated against the repeated vandalism of our property on and near to Jewish Holy Days, deflating and slitting of our car tires, theft of our personal possessions, threats against us, years of extortionate demands upon us for scores of thousands of dollars, intimidation, mocking of us in court, and illegal eviction of us on July 14, 2021, by orders of Judges Edward Nicholas and Charles Sniffen.
Amongst the written threats to us were: “Be warned, I’ll be keeping an eye on you.”; “The last thing you want to do is make an enemy of me.”; “By the way, you make yourselves look foolish with this [Holocaust] survivor crap.”
By order of the Florida Court of Appeal, Judge Nicholas was officially removed due to his bias and prejudice against us from the eviction case that HVW had filed against my husband, Lawrence Newman, and me pursuant to Florida’s rent diversion statute (F.S. 718.116(11)) that expressly requires four criteria to be met for eviction of a family by a condominium association. While it was undisputed that our family never met the criteria of “rent”-paying “tenants” under contract with our Dad for less than one year, and our family never refused to divert said alleged “rent” from HVW condo owner, Al Katz (who never charged us rent), to HVW, the lawsuit filed by attorney Scott K. Petersen falsely claimed that Lawrence and Beverly Newman refused to divert their “rent” from Al Katz to HVW in December 2015 and January 2016 – 5 1/2 years after our Dad had moved to Heaven and could not receive “rent” from anyone.
In the course of years of perjurious litigation against us, Judge Edward Nicholas ordered me to produce all of my confidential intimate medical records, including gynecological exams, from the time of my birth, for HVW’s lawyers to inspect and for the Judge to personally review himself, purportedly to confirm that I have asthma. Illegal subpoenas were sent by HVW to my physicians in New Mexico and Ohio, threatening them with contempt of court although the court had no jurisdiction over them. Judge Nicholas refused to sanction the lawyers for overt intimidation of my physicians.
In the course of years of eviction litigation, Judge Nicholas variously referred to our Jewish family in classic antisemitic accusations, which would not even be hurled at habitual criminals: “deliberate callousness”; “gross indifference”; “bizarre”; “egregiousness”; “vindictive”; “abject contempt”; “gross indifference”; “abuse”; “egregious and inappropriate indifference”; “contumacious disregard.”
Far from habitual criminals, I am an author of children’s books and nationally-published articles, a Holocaust educator, and Director of the Al Katz Center for Holocaust Survivors & Jewish Learning with my husband, who is also a Holocaust educator. My Dad, Al Katz, was a slave for the Nazis for seven years in concentration camps across Europe. He was also a guardianship Ward of the State of Florida, due, in large measure, to the direct involvement of HVW Officers and Board Members, who refused to evict the four convicted criminals exploiting and abusing him at HVW, namely, Randall Scribner, Sara Scribner, Peter Klimek, and Fred Carreras, whose collective felonies include: child molesting, narcotics drug dealing, aggravated assault on an officer, grand theft, spouse abuse, car thefts, armed robbery, escape, aggravated battery, resisting arrest, burglary, forgery, DUI, violations of probation, receiving stolen property, prowling, disorderly intoxication, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Nonetheless, HVW fought relentlessly to evict its only remaining Jewish family through years of perjurious filings and classic antisemitic accusations that we were “dishonest and “not credible.” Since our fraudulent eviction, we cannot rent anywhere due to our “eviction history.” Our lives and work are utterly severed, and we have had to start a new life in our old age.
During the perfect storm of antisemitism amidst the perfect pandemic, The Creator has blessed us with fortitude and inspiration to persevere. We have no more deflated and slit tires, no more angry false accusations by neighbors; but we also have the majority of our worldly possessions left behind in the haste of our eviction in the condominium that our Dad worked and paid for as we were given only 24-hours notice to vacate.
Eviction is a major, major life cycle event, which can be life-threatening even in healthy circumstances. During a deadly pandemic, eviction is inherently dangerous, and hordes of precautions must be taken to protect one’s health. These factors were discarded and disregarded by two Manatee County judges, HVW Officers, and a plethora of HVW attorneys with no respect for Jewish lives, beginning with the life of an 89-year-old Holocaust Survivor who had suffered skull fractures, extreme facial and head wounds, and intracranial hemorrhaging at the hands of the violent criminals whom HVW refused to evict.
This is the perfect storm of antisemitism that threatens the entire society and world just as it did in the Holocaust, costing 60 million lives globally. Yet, here we sit watching the same reruns and not knowing the ending. Here we sit silent, voiceless, thoughtlessly waiting for another sequel to our own destruction by Jew-haters in tailored suits and honored professions.
©Beverly Newman. All rights reserved.