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The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish history
Photo credit: The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish history

Asian Pacific Americans and Jewish Americans in PA unite

The two groups will form the Pennsylvania Asian Pacific American Jewish Alliance to bring more awareness to the increase in hate motivated incidents.

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This September, a new alliance called the Pennsylvania Asian Pacific American Jewish Alliance is set to launch. This alliance seeks to unite Asian Pacific Americans and Jewish Americans together against rising hate-fueled incidents against both groups.

Building off of a core group of twelve members — six Asian Pacific Americans and six Jews — they will seek to build ties between the two groups, bonding over mutual experiences of living in Pennsylvania.

“We unite to fight the Antisemitism and Anti-Asian hate targeting these two communities, build deep understanding between each other, and cultivate knowledge on unique common struggles, for example, the myth of the model minority and the myth of dual loyalty,” said Stephanie Sun, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, in a press release.

“By starting conversations and knowledge-sharing, we can begin to break down the walls that divide us and support each other to create real change in Pennsylvania,” she continued.

A report by the 2021 American Jewish Committee found that nine out of ten Jews surveyed considered antisemitism an important issue, with four out of ten having altered their behavior to conceal that they were Jewish.

Across Pennsylvania, anti-Jewish incidents this year are reported to be the second highest they have been. Additionally, anti-Asian incidents have sharply increased by 87% as well.

Alan Hoffman, the Philadelphia/Southern NJ president of American Jewish Committee (AJC) made a statement on how the initiative was personally important to him.

“I am the child of a Holocaust survivor who, like so many, fled hatred in their home nations and arrived in America to be able to worship as we please, excel in our work, live without fear of violence and provide for our families,” Hoffman said. 

“Today, with growing hate, everyone needs to realize that our very American democracy is at stake,” he continued.

PAPAJA will formally debut on Sept. 29, at the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia before a news conference. 

Following the conference, a tour of the museum will be given, as well as a visit to the exhibit The Future will Follow the Past, the subject of which is rising hate across the U.S.

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