News Briefs, the Week of April 27, 2017

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ADL Reports Anti-Semitic Incidents Up Sharply in Pennsylvania

Anti-Semitic incidents in Pennsylvania increased 19 percent in the first quarter of 2017 — on the heels of a 56 percent increase in 2016, according to data compiled by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The 19 incidents reported in the first quarter included 11 harassment incidents (counting three bomb threats) and eight incidents of vandalism (including the Mount Carmel Cemetery desecration), although no assaults.


There were 67 anti-Semitic incidents reported in 2016, which includes 42 harassment and threat incidents and 25 incidents of vandalism.

“These recent incidents fly in the face of Pennsylvania’s history as a haven for religious freedom, and Pennsylvanians will not tolerate anti-Semitism or hate in any form. We have been inspired to see law enforcement, elected officials and folks of all backgrounds and beliefs standing together against anti-Jewish hate in the Keystone State,” said Nancy Baron-Baer, director of the ADL’s Eastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Delaware region.

Baron-Baer noted that 2016 had the most anti-Semitic incidents in about a decade.

The ADL said there were 541 incidents nationwide in the first quarter of 2017, an 86 percent increase from the year before and 1,266 incidents in all of 2016, up 34 percent from 2015.

Worldwide Jewish Population Grows to 14.41 Million

There are now 14.41 million Jews worldwide according to data the Israeli Bureau of Statistics compiled, israelnationalnews.com reported.

That’s an increase from the less than 13.5 million reported in 2010 and the just-under 12.9 million in 2000.

About 44 percent of the world’s Jews, or 6.34 million, live in Israel, with 39.5 percent, or 5.7 million, living in the United States.

Other countries with significant Jewish populations include France (360,000), Canada (388,000), the United Kingdom (290,000), Argentina (181,000), Russia (180,000), Germany (117,000) and Australia (113,000).

Despite the increase, that’s still below the more than 16.7 million Jews worldwide on the eve of World War II. The Jewish population declined to less than 11 million by the end of the war, rising to 11.5 million by 1948 when Israel was founded. The worldwide Jewish population topped 12 million in 1960, but remained under 13 million for more than 40 years.

Real Estate Investor Jeffrey Bartos to Seek GOP Nomination for Senate Seat

Real estate investor Jeffrey Bartos announced April 24 that he will seek the Republican Party nomination to challenge Pennsylvania Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey in 2018, according to the Associated Press.

Bartos, 44, lives in Montgomery County. This is his first run for elected office.

Bartos, who is the president of commercial and residential real estate management and development company ESB Holdings LLC, told Breitbart News that Casey doesn’t represent Pennsylvania effectively.

“We need a fresh face. We need an outsider. We need a business person to go down to Washington to tackle the reforms, to tackle the challenges and fight for Pennsylvania’s industries, to fight for Pennsylvania’s jobs and the welfare of all Pennsylvanians,” Bartos told Breitbart.

Others planning to challenge Casey — who is seeking a third term — include Republican state Reps. Rick Saccone and Jim Christiana, Republican Andrew Shecktor and Libertarian Dale Kerns, according to the AP.

Simon’s Fund Heart Screening Slated for May 6

A free youth heart screening for students ages 12 to 29 is set for May 6 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Harriton High School, 600 N. Ithan Ave., in Bryn Mawr.

Simon’s Fund, which was founded in 2005 by Darren and Phyllis Sudman in memory of their 3-month-old son Simon, who died from an undetected heart condition, is sponsoring the event. Since its founding, Simon’s Fund has provided more than 14,000 free screenings and discovered 104 students with potentially fatal heart conditions.

Students will complete a medical history form, then have their blood pressure, height and weight checked. After that, students receive an exam; based on the findings, about 10 percent of students will receive an echocardiogram.

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