Philadelphia police show support for Jewish community on six-month anniversary of Israel attack

Exactly six months since the attack on Israel, the Philadelphia Police Department hosted a listening session with the local Jewish community to hear some of their growing concerns.

"We just wanted to be here to show support for our community, particularly the Jewish community, And some of the concerns and the fears we have since October 7," said Joel Meyerowitz.

Ever since the conflict in Israel, the Jewish Federation says people in Philadelphia and surrounding areas have been nervous, especially families with young children and those who survived the Holocaust.

"When they see antisemitic graffiti, when people yell things out of the car, when synagogues or Jewish institutions are vandalized with swastikas and hate messages, it brings about the worst of feelings," Philadelphia Police Chaplain David Kushner.

In a show of support, the Philadelphia police commissioner, along  with other officers and members of the state Police, came out to make sure they understood exactly what the Jewish community needs.

"There’s been such an uptick in antisemitism, we see it in the schools, we see it on the streets, and it’s important for us to have a strong relationship with the elected officials and police," said Robin Schatz, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

"We’ve been very conscious of that for some time and have had a kind of elevated posture and will continue to stay in that posture by making sure we do everything we can to make them feel safe," said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel.

The director of the secure community network says between 2022 and 2023,reports of anti-Semitic incidents shot up 500 percent, from 20 reports to 119 in Philadelphia and surrounding areas.

And since the October 7 attack, reports have gone up exponentially.

"It’s something we just have to be constantly vigilant of to make sure that we’re servicing our community across the board, and I’m particularly in our Jewish community where individuals might be targeting them because of their faith."

Members of The Jewish Federation say they really appreciate the Philadelphia police's participation.

At a recent rally for Israel, they asked for 15 officers to keep everyone safe - 75 officers showed up.