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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20170&cosponId=23121
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: March 1, 2017 03:17 PM
From: Representative Jared G. Solomon and Rep. Dan Frankel, Rep. Aaron D. Kaufer, Rep. Kristin Hill, Rep. Robert Freeman, Rep. Michael H. Schlossberg
To: All House members
Subject: Condemning acts of vandalism and terror against the Jewish community
 
In the near future, we will be introducing a resolution condemning the recent acts of hate against the Jewish community across this country and right here in Pennsylvania. This resolution will also call for education particularly for young people to build understanding among the next generation. We invite all of our colleagues to sign on as a co-sponsor to this important endeavor.

Hate crimes are committed not to create fear in one person, but to cause fear to an entire group. The recent uptick in acts of hate toward members of the Jewish faith is truly alarming and cannot be ignored. This disturbing trend is not confined to one area of the country. In New York City, for example, police have reported that hate crimes against Jews have more than doubled so far this year compared to the same period in 2016. Recently, more than 170 gravestones were toppled at the Chesed Shel Emeth cemetery near Saint Louis, Missouri, with vandals committing a similar act at the Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Philadelphia this past weekend. So far this week, Jewish Community Centers across the country, including in York and Harrisburg, were evacuated after receiving threats – continuing a disturbing pattern of intimidation and hate that includes more than 100 threats to JCCs across the U.S. since the beginning of 2017.

We all should be outraged at these recent incidents and must work together to stop acts of hate against the Jewish community as well as other groups. We cannot sit on the sidelines – we must come together as a group and defend our shared values of acceptance, tolerance and peace. Our resolution will condemn these recent acts of hate against members of the Jewish faith and urge us to work together to form a more inclusive and welcoming Commonwealth for all.

Moreover, our resolution will also chart a course forward to help prevent such acts in the future. We cannot be defined by these acts, but rather by our collective response to them. To that end, we believe that we need to use these tragedies as an opportunity to start educating young people and adults about understanding and appreciating all people in our communities and in our Commonwealth.



Introduced as HR161