Fighting Anti-Semitism

The Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition (PJC) Board of Directors, representatives from the Jewish Federations in Pennsylvania, Jewish (including partially Jewish) elected officials in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Senate, and representatives from the Orthodox Union met with Governor Tom Wolf to discuss efforts to combat anti-Semitism and hate throughout the Commonwealth. The PJC is in the process of working with the Governor’s office develop and implement an strong strategy to fight hate (discrimination and hate) throughout our state.

2019 – 2020 Legislative Agenda

Public Policy

  • Promote understanding in our society, and oppose crimes of hate
  • Develop and support legislation to deter anti-Semitism
  • Develop and support legislation to deter violent acts inspired by hate
  • Promote religious understanding in schools and society, through:
    • Cultural awareness legislation and (2) removal of religious garb prohibition
  • Oppose discriminatory actions toward immigrants (employment, housing, etc.)
  • Reduce poverty in Pennsylvania
  • Preserve and protect the State of Israel
  • Promote the trade agreement between Pennsylvania and Israeli businesses
  • Increase energy independence through conservation and alternative energy
  • Continue assistance in the implementation of Holocaust education legislation: Act 70 of 2014
  • Develop and support legislation to protect and secure communal spaces

Human Services Programs

Family Issues

  • Provide funding for social service programs
  • 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
  • Increase assistance for food pantries throughout the Commonwealth
  • Provide assistance for special needs populations of all ages (IDD, autism, etc.)
  • Provide assistance for low-income families (LIHEAP)
  • Sustain Medicaid/ Medicare/ SNAP funding; opposing work requirements that will hinder eligibility for coverage

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
  • Provide safeguards to protect seniors from physical and financial abuse

Children

  • Sustain funding (and/or increase) for Education Improvement Tax Credits (EITC and OSTC) and program expansion
  • Improve Pennsylvania’s child care programs
  • Improve Pennsylvania’s foster care system
  • Support pre-kindergarten and private education programs

Create a safer and healthier environment

This list is subject to change pending the authorization of the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition’s Board of Directors under the guidance and direction of the Jewish Federations throughout Pennsylvania.

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.

Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition Applauds Trade Agreement between Pennsylvania and Israel

The Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition (PJC) commends the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) on the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to encourage cooperation in industrial research and development and innovation  between Israeli and Pennsylvania companies.  The MOU is being signed on November 6, 2017 at a ceremony at the Big Data & Digital Health Summit at Thomas Jefferson University at Jefferson Alumni Hall.

PA Budget Struggles Continue, Jewish Education Programs Sustained For Now

By Marissa Stern; Jewish Exponent

September 20, 2017

The ongoing budget crisis the state has faced since approving a spending plan in late June is full of big numbers and bigger confusion — namely how to pay for the already approved spending plan.

But it seems that maybe — hopefully — a solution is near.

Late on Sept. 13, the Republican-controlled state House of Representatives approved a revenue package proposal that, if approved by the Republican-controlled Senate and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, would end the state’s ongoing budget struggles for this fiscal year.