News Briefs: Graffiti on South Street Bridge, Jerusalem Changed from ‘Settlement’ on, and More


Anti-Semitic Graffiti Found on South Street Bridge

Passersby on the South Street Bridge on July 31 found a rather unwelcoming message.

Sophia Seifert posted a photo to the Southwest Center City Philadelphia Facebook group that day featuring a teal blue spray-painted message on the sidewalk: “F**k Jews.”

She was “disgusted” to find the graffiti, she wrote, adding that she contacted Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, who said Philadelphia Parks & Recreation sent someone to remove it.

Facebook users commented on the post, voicing anger and disgust. One linked to a November Philadelphia magazine article detailing Philly’s new hate crimes hotline.

ADL Philadelphia tweeted they are responding to the act of graffiti, labeling it anti-Semitic.

“We thank @CouncilmanKJ and @PhillyPolice for their prompt responses,” the tweet reads. “This despicable act of #hate has no place in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.”

Jerusalem No Longer an ‘Israeli Settlement’ According to

After a Belgian Jewish newspaper contacted, the online travel agency changed its categorization of Jerusalem as an “Israeli settlement,” reported.

The change was made July 31 after Antwerp Joods Actueel Editor-in-Chief Michael Freilich wrote to the Amsterdam-based company asking why it referred to Jerusalem as a “settlement.” now lists Jerusalem in Israel.

“I thought it was a hoax until I checked it out and saw it with my own eyes,” Freilich said, noting that he was checking a reader tip.

Freilich didn’t receive a response from the company.

Paul Ryan Learns He’s Part Jewish

House Speaker Paul Ryan has discovered he’s 3 percent Ashkenazi Jewish, according to The Washington Post.

Ryan, who is a practicing Catholic, learned about his Eastern European roots during a filming of the PBS program Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr.

“You could have knocked him over with a feather and then he was very proud of it,” Gates said. “We don’t know who that Jewish person was, but we know it was on his mother’s German line, which makes sense.”

While Ryan has generally voiced support for Israel, news of his Jewish heritage was met with a mixed reaction.

“I’m sorry but no, we don’t want him,” Israeli-American novelist Ayelet Waldman tweeted.

Rube Goldberg Exhibit to Debut at NMAJH

The National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH) announced it will present an exhibit featuring the artwork of Rube Goldberg, who is best known for his whimsical invention drawing cartoons.

The exhibit debuts on Oct. 12 and runs through Jan. 21, 2019.

NMAJH said the exhibit is the first comprehensive retrospective display of Goldberg’s work since his death in 1970. It chronicles all aspects of his 72-year career, including his earliest published drawings, iconic inventions and Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoons.

NMAJH also will host a Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (RGMC) for high school students that will require participants to build overly complicated and comically contrived inventions designed to complete a simple task.


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