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With close to 700,000 Jews, Florida has become the state with the third largest Jewish population in the U.S., after New York and California. The first Jew associated with Florida was Moses Levy who in 1819 sought to settle Jews there. His son David Yulee was the first Jew elected to the U.S. Congress. The first Jewish community was organized in Jacksonville in 1850, and the first synagogue was founded in Pensacola in 1875. Before the Civil War there were few Jews in Florida, but as Miami began to develop as a winter resort, a steady increase of Jewish population began. Today, there are major Jewish communities in Miami (145,000), Fort Lauderdale (174,000) Boca Raton-Delray (84,000), Hollywood (63,000), and Palm Beach (63,000). These communities support a large number of temples and synagogues, mostly Reform and Conservative, Jewish community centers, and charitable Jewish organizations.

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