Students in Florida may soon be required to take between a one to two minute “moment of silence” to start off each school day, thanks to the work of a group of Shluchim in Florida.
Rabbi Oirechman was galvanized into action after the shooting at Chabad of Poway in California last Pesach.
“Since the Poway attack, I have been working with a group of Shluchim to get a law passed for a Moment of Silence in Florida,” Rabbi Oirechman told COLlive. “We all know how important this was to the Rebbe.”
On multiple occasions, the Rebbe urgently called for a daily “Moment of Silence” in U.S. public schools, where most American children receive their education.
The Rebbe articulated his position with great urgency, all but warning that if the current path of education continues without incorporating a Moment of Silence, calamity is bound to come.
“This was my dream for a long time, to give this as a gift to the Rebbe for yud aleph Nissan,” Rabbi Oirechman said. “After the Poway shooting, I visited the Rebbe’s Ohel, and at that time I committed to the Rebbe to get it done.”
The vaad of Shluchim working on the project also includes Rabbis Yoel Caroline, Mendy Weiss, Yossi Hecht, Shlomo Litvin, and Binyamin Murray. They also received support and assistance from Rabbi Avraham Frank, longtime advocate of the Moment of Silence campaign.
Through the work of Rabbi Yossi Hecht of Ocala, FL, and Rabbi Oirechman, Senator Dennis Baxley and Rep. Kimberly Daniels of Florida are sponsoring the bill which would make a Moment of Silence a law in Florida public schools.
Many teachers already offer students the option, but the new legislation would make the reflection period mandatory.
The legislation also directs teachers to encourage parents to discuss how to best use the period of silent reflection with their children.
“Our goal is to get the bill passed in the upcoming January and February sessions in Florida,” Rabbi Oirechman said. “We are so grateful to Senator Baxley and his assistant Debbie Dennis, for all their assistance.”
If the bill becomes law the silent reflection period would start during the 2020 school year.