Two antisemitic incidents occur in Squirrel Hill over Passover weekend
search
AntisemitismHate group targets Pittsburgh community

Two antisemitic incidents occur in Squirrel Hill over Passover weekend

“This was intended to drive people further apart,” Prince said. “People of different nationalities, different religions. The only thing it did was bring people closer.”

Photo by Jamie Lebovitz
Photo by Jamie Lebovitz

Squirrel Hill was the site of two separate incidents of antisemitism last weekend.

On Friday night, April 15, a hate group known to operate in California, Florida, New York, Colorado and other locations across the country, distributed flyers filled with antisemitic tropes in the community.

Shawn Brokos, director of community security for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, said it appears that Squirrel Hill was targeted for geographic reasons and that the flyers were not directed to any specific person. More than 20 families had the flyers thrown into their driveways.

Squirrel Hill residents returned from seders April 15 to find antisemtic flyers in their yard. Photo provided by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.

Brokos called the incident “an introduction to this group that otherwise has not had a presence here before. The group is very active across the country, but we are now just seeing this activity in Pittsburgh.”

Jon Prince’s family found a flyer on their property. After returning home from a seder, his 17-year-old son noticed the flyer at the end of their driveway while taking their dog for a walk.

Prince said the incident was “unsettling,” not only because it occurred in his neighborhood but also because his home is less than a mile from the Tree of Life building. The most violent incident of antisemitism in U.S. history occurred at the synagogue, resulting in the murders of 11 people from three congregations.

Squirrel Hill residents returned from seders April 15 to find antisemtic flyers in their yard. Photo provided by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.

“I brought it inside,” Prince said of the flyer. “My wife looked at it, and we were shocked and then we walked throughout the neighborhood to see if anyone else got them and literally everyone else did.”

The Squirrel Hill resident said that if the incident was meant to separate people the hate group failed.

“This was intended to drive people further apart,” Prince said. “People of different nationalities, different religions. The only thing it did was bring people closer.”

A second incident occurred Sunday, April 17, at 12:15 p.m. at Phillips and Murray avenues.

According to Brokos, a male yelled “F— Jews” as he walked down Murray Avenue past Shaare Torah Congregation. Police were notified, but the man was gone when they arrived.

The Black male, aged 35-40, has a slim build, is approximately 5’8” to 5’9” tall, and wore an olive-colored jacket with “1917 Krusaders” written in black marker across the back, Doc Martens, joggers and a black knit cap.

Anyone who has information about either of the incidents should call 911 and report it to Brokos at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, SBrokos@jfedpgh.org.

Brokos urged anyone traumatized by either incident to reach out to Jewish Family and Community Services or the 10.27 Healing Partnership. PJC

—David Rullo

comments