Pittsburgh-area rabbis write to Rep. Summer Lee after her vote against pro-Israel resolution

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Rising tensions in the Middle East are spilling into our backyard, with recent anti-Semitic vandalism taking place in the Pittsburgh area, and now local Jewish leaders are coming together.

“It’s been brutal on both sides and I think it’s a lot of misunderstanding as well but unfortunately there isn’t a clear answer to the problem there,” Greenfield resident Ali Wyrostek said.

A group of Pittsburgh rabbis united to call on a lawmaker.

“It’s spreading far and fast and with all the fear going on we need people that will stand up against it not stand up for it and spread it,” said Rabbi Yitzchak Goldwasser with Chabad of Greenfield.

Nearly 40 rabbis sent a letter to Congresswoman Summer Lee asking to talk with her after she voted against a resolution expressing the country’s support for the Israeli people. Rabbis we spoke with say the decision is a lack of support for the community she represents.

“The main goal is regardless of your education or your feelings about this conflict or any conflict there is a way to treat one another. We need to live peaceful and as the mayor says, love your neighbor, and that’s what we need to do,” Goldwasser said.

While Lee didn’t respond to our requests for comment about the letter, she did post to social media about the antisemitic vandalism in Squirrel Hill on Tuesday, calling it unacceptable and wrong while pledging to continue work to combat anti-Semitism.

This comes on the heels of another vandalism act just last week outside Taylor Allderdice High School.

Pittsburgh police are increasing patrols in the area.

“There is a fear among people. They just don’t know they are scared. I get calls all the time people want to take down their mezuzah,” Goldwasser explained.

Even those not directly impacted are tired of seeing hate and want peace in Pittsburgh.

“Why can’t we all get along? If you don’t like something different leave them alone. There’s no need for all of this, but it’s been going on for thousands of years, how do you stop it?” Greenfield resident David Smith said.

Pittsburgh police are looking for anyone involved in the vandalism.

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