Vandalism, graffiti, verbal abuse, online attacks and many other forms of antisemitism have suddenly overwhelmed our beloved Jewish community, already mourning the terrorist murders of more than 1,400 Jews in Israel. We at the Jewish Federation are angered and sickened by these repeated attacks but reinvigorated to combat the escalating wave of antisemitism in a community that previously experienced the worst antisemitic attack in U.S. history.
We again condemn hate speech of any form, which has no place anywhere in Pittsburgh and no place in the world, whether it is antisemitic graffiti in the Summerset neighborhood or distributed denial-of-service attacks and hacking of Jewish institutions’ websites and social media presence or defacing of “We Stand With Israel” signs. The unprovoked Hamas attack on Israel has unleashed a wave of ugly hatred across our country, taking a terrible mental toll on Jewish communities including ours.
We want to be clear that there currently is no known physical threat to the Pittsburgh Jewish community. We have a security protocol in place that is working well and gives us the ability to coordinate swiftly with law enforcement when an incident arises.
While these recent, specific acts do not indicate any direct, violent threat to our community, it is important that any acts of hate be reported immediately to ensure coordination among our Jewish institutions and with law enforcement. Incidents may be reported by calling 911 in case of a real threat or at jewishpgh.org/form/incident-report.
As an organization on the front lines, working together with many other religious organizations, minority groups and other nonprofits to combat this hatred, we feel our community’s increasing alarm and fear. We cannot normalize or become inured to the proliferation of such heinous acts. We will continue to speak out against all forms of hatred, especially in our children’s learning environments, which should be places of physical and emotional safety, mutual respect, and decency.