In 2019, the number of anti-Semitic attacks in the United States surged to a 40-year high —and this is after the deadliest-ever U.S. anti-Semitic attack, at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue building in 2018.
To focus the brightest minds among municipal and local leaders from around the world on the growing problem of anti-Semitism, the first Mayors Summit Against Anti-Semitism will be held March 16 at 11 a.m. EDT.
Jeff Finkelstein, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, will be a featured speaker at the event, as will Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. They will share their experiences.
Mr. Finkelstein commented, “Anti-Semitism is on the rise. Unfortunately, Pittsburgh has experienced the evil that this form of hatred can cause. We hope we can share some of what we have learned to help others fight anti-Semitism and to help communities who have experienced anti-Semitism to heal.”
The public can register at mayors.combatantisemitism.org and watch the summit live-streamed via Zoom or YouTube. Other speakers will include mayors of Toronto, Amsterdam, Athens, Brussels and Palermo.
Eric Fingerhut — CEO of the Pittsburgh Federation’s national organization, Jewish Federations of North America — will also speak.
“The summit will bring together mayors and other officials from cities around the world to analyze common challenges, share best practices, create channels of collaboration and brainstorm innovative new ideas on how to turn the tide against rising hate.”Mayor Uwe Becker of Frankfurt am Main in Germany, which is hosting the summit.
In related news, Rep. Dan Frankel (Squirrel Hill) re-introduced hate crime legislation that expands the protections offered by the Ethnic Intimidation Act in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth house last week, to impose stiffer penalties on those convicted of hate crimes, among other things.