Tube City Community Media Inc. is seeking freelance writers to help cover city council, news and feature stories in McKeesport, Duquesne, White Oak and the neighboring communities. High school and college students seeking work experience are encouraged to apply; we are willing to work with students who need credit toward class assignments. Please send cover letter, resume, two writing samples and the name of a reference (an employer, supervisor, teacher, etc. -- not a relative) to tubecitytiger@gmail.com.

To place your ad, email tubecitytiger@gmail.com.
Ads start at $1 per day, minimum seven days.

Advocates Praise New Strategy to Tackle Hate

Biden Administration offers steps to tackle anti-semitism; incidents hit new high in 2022

By Danielle M. Smith - Public News Service
The Tube City Almanac
June 30, 2023
Posted in: State & Region

Local groups are working to counter a rise in anti-semitism in Pennsylvania and across the country.

Anti-semitic incidents in the United States reached a new high in 2022, with a total of 6,751 cases of racist, anti-semitic and other hateful messages reported by the Anti-Defamation League.

Advocates say that the trial of Robert Bowers — the man convicted of killing 11 people inside the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood in 2018 — is a reminder of the danger that anti-semitism and other racial- and religious-based hate groups present.

Hilary Levine, associate director for the American Jewish Committee’s regional office in Philadelphia, said the U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, a plan announced in May by the Biden administration, is a step in the right direction.

The plan calls for education and outreach, as well as increased law-enforcement monitoring of hate groups online and off-line.

Levine pointed out that safety in Jewish communities is a top priority in the national plan.

“Essentially, the president wants to boost federal funding to help Jewish institutions offset their own costs of bolstering physical security — let’s say, of synagogues, Jewish community centers, cultural organizations, etc.,” she said.

The ADL recorded 349 incidents of anti-semitism in Pennsylvania in 2022, a decrease from the 473 incidents reported in 2021.

Levine said the national strategy proposed by the White House includes more than 100 action items that federal agencies can take and 100 more that institutions such as universities and local governments can take on to combat antisemitism.

Levine said another important aspect of the national strategy is a focus on the needs of Jewish students from kindergarten all the way through higher education.

She noted that the national strategy calls on states, cities, and school districts to expand information, digital, and media literacy education — to address online misinformation and disinformation, including those related to anti-semitism.

“Included in the strategy is a piece saying that the (U.S.) Department of Education should launch an awareness campaign for elementary schools through college,” said Levine, “highlighting those schools’ obligation to seriously address complaints of harassment based on essentially Jewish ancestry.”

Levine encouraged anyone who has experienced anti-semitism or other forms of race-based or religion-based hate to report those incidents to police, as well as the state Human Relations Commission, which tracks and responds to hate crimes.

She said the Anti-Defamation League also tracks anti-semitic crimes and can help direct individuals to the correct law enforcement agencies in their communities.

On June 16, Bowers, 50, of Baldwin Borough was found guilty in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh of all 63 charges against him for killing 11 worshippers and wounding six others at Tree of Life.

The penalty phase in his trial began Monday. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, but defense attorneys have argued that Bowers has significant mental health issues and that he should be sentenced to life in prison.

Danielle M. Smith is a producer for Public News Service, where this story first appeared. An award-winning radio journalist/personality with more than a decade of experience in broadcast media, she is a former audio journalist with American Urban Radio Networks and Sheridan Broadcasting Networks who also hosts a weekly community affairs show “Good News” on WGBN (1360 AM/98.9 FM). Jason Togyer, editor of Tube City Almanac and volunteer executive director of Tube City Community Media Inc., contributed to this report.

Originally published June 30, 2023.

In other news:
"UPMC Closes 2 CCU Bed…" || "Moose, DWNI Plan Spag…"