House Democratic Policy Committee discusses rise of anti-Semitic acts in Northeast Philly

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 28 – State Rep. Kevin Boyle, D-Phila., today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on the recent rise of anti-Semitic acts in Northeast Philadelphia at the Congregations of Shaare Shamayim.

Boyle requested the hearing to discuss recent incidents, including rocks thrown through windows at Temple Menorah Keneseth Chai in Tacony, and the more than 270 tombstones overturned at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Wissinoming.

The committee discussed how the community can work together to curb these senseless acts and was joined by Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, along with other committee members from across the state.

“A recent report by the Anti-Defamation League stated that anti-Semitic incidents in Pennsylvania have increased by 71 percent this year. I could not stand by and continue to hear of these stories of vandalism, harassment and vulgar acts against our neighbors and not take further action. When teachers are receiving anti-Semitic letters with feces, or people are caught urinating on a religious building, there is a clear lack of respect and disregard for others. My hope is that following today’s discussion, we can determine a course of action that will significantly reduce the number of these unfortunate incidents,” Boyle said.

Sturla added, “Acts of hate, terrorism or racism against any group of people is inexcusable. As today’s testifiers indicated, we must work together to stop these anti-Semitic acts and encourage people to respect one another.”

The committee heard testimony from Jeremy Bannett, associate regional director, Anti-Defamation League; lawyer Naomi Adler, president and CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia; Michele Foster, president-elect, Hadassah Greater Philadelphia Region; and Chuck Feldman, president, Holocaust Awareness Museum and Education Center.

Hearing testimony, video and photos will be available at