Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition Mourns for the Victims of the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting and Condemns These Horrific Acts of Hate and Violence.

Statement from Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition (PJC) Chairman Marc Zucker

The Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition (PJC) joins hands with Jewish communities across the Commonwealth and all people of conscience in mourning the victims of what we believe to be the first mass shooting at a synagogue in our nation’s history. This cowardly act of anti-Semitic violence, at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, fueled by blind hatred of immigrants, is a horrific stain on our nation’s heritage as a beacon of hope for all people.

The slaughter of innocent congregants and police officers, disturbing the sanctity of a joyous celebration on the Jewish Sabbath, must be condemned at all levels of government and in all corners of society.

We are grateful for efforts already in place in Pennsylvania to combat hate crimes, educate our children about genocide and ethnic hatred and cultivate mutual understanding. The challenge for all of us, and for our government leaders going forward, is to denounce xenophobia and anti-Semitism, safeguard our houses of worship, silence the increasingly divisive rhetoric that inflames the basest elements of our society and corrodes our democratic institutions, and act swiftly to curb gun violence. May the families of each of the victims of this deplorable act find comfort in the solidarity and commitment of our community, as we mourn together.

Holocaust Education Successfully Reaches 93% of the Public and Charter Schools in Pennsylvania

November 9, 2017

The Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition (PJC) commends the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Act 70 of 2014 Task Force (comprised of professional educators focused on the Holocaust, genocide and human rights violations) on reaching their goal of having guided over 90% of the Pennsylvania public and charter schools to offer instruction on the Holocaust and related issues in their curriculum. This morning the Pennsylvania Board of Education approved the survey of the state’s public and charter schools, confirming that 90% of these schools are sensitizing students to the Holocaust, genocide and human rights violations through such instruction. The Board likewise made recommendations for the Commonwealth to continue to update resources and training on these subjects.

2017-2018 Legislative Agenda

HUMAN SERVICES PROGRAMS                                                                            Family issues
  • Provide funding for social service program;
  • Provide safety net programs for families and individuals;
  • Improve assistance for individuals to overcome personal health obstacles (i.e. substance abuse);
  • Improve assistance for individuals to receive education and technological skills to help advance in the workforce;
  • Provide assistance for special needs populations of all ages (IDD, autism, etc.); and
  • Provide assistance for low-income families (LIHEAP)
Seniors
  • Provide assistance for Aging in Place programs;
  • Provide assistance to and promote naturally occurring retirement communities (NORC);
  • Provide assistance to public transportation; increase accessibility to/ from senior housing;
  • Sustain Medicaid/ Medicare funding;
  • Provide safeguards to protect seniors from physical and financial abuse; and
  • Provide assistance to food pantries, senior centers and nursing homes
Children
  • Sustain or increase funding for Education Improvement Tax Credits (EITC);
  • Improve Pennsylvania’s child care programs;
  • Improve Pennsylvania’s foster care system; and
  • Support pre-kindergarten and private education programs
SOCIAL JUSTICE
  • Promote tolerance in our society and oppose crimes of hate;
  • Promote religious tolerance in schools and society;
  • Oppose immigration discriminatory actions (immigration, employment, housing, etc.);
  • Continue Assistance in the Implementation of Holocaust education legislation: Act 70 of 2014;
  • Reduce poverty in Pennsylvania;
  • Preserve and protect the State of Israel
    • Promotion of trade between Pennsylvania and Israeli businesses;
  • Strive to establish criteria for tax exempt entities;
  • Increase energy independence through conservation and alternative energy; and
  • Create a safer and healthier environment in which all Pennsylvanians can work and live.