Community hosts rally against anti-semitism


By Lily Chen, Mareska Chettiar and Zara Samdani, Design Editor, Photography Editor and Co-T/E Life Editor

Fervent cries of “Amen.” The emphatic cheering of more than 200 people. 

These noises, among many others, rang in the sunny afternoon as a crowd gathered in Chesterbrook to denounce anti-semitism.

In response to recent surges of anti-semitic vandalism, Tredyffrin Township residents Lisa Schrieber and Howard Griffel organized a peaceful rally on June 4 to decry Jewish hate crimes. Members of the community, young and old, stood at 37 Flintlock Lane, Chesterbrook, crowding a sign where a vandalist spray painted a swastika one month ago. The rally was conducted in a highly visible area, allowing ongoing cars to view the event as they passed through.

“I was very pleased with the number of people that came out. It shows (me) that there is an active and engaged group — both Jewish people as well as Jewish allies — that care about this issue,” said Mark Freed, a supervisor on the Tredyffrin Board of Supervisors.

During the rally, Griffel, a Holocaust survivor, recounted his personal experiences with hate crimes. Other speakers included Rabbis and local community leaders who criticized threats against the Jewish community. One such speaker, Rabbi Beth Kalisch, highlighted the importance of the youth in rising against anti-semitism.

“I think (that) the youth standing up to hate is so important because people will (listen) to the youth,” Kalisch said. “For students who care about building a world that is diverse and tolerant, (one) that celebrates the different faiths, races and backgrounds that make our country so strong, we need the youth to stand up and shout that from the rooftops.”

The rally concluded with the placement of three yard stakes that showed support for the Jewish community.

“I think it’s incredible,” said Marian Moskiwitz, county commissioner and attendee. “At a time when people might be worried about coming out to do (events like this), people are here. People are taking a position. I admire that. I appreciate it, and that’s the way it should be.”

Lily Chen can be reached at [email protected].

Mareska Chettiar can be reached at [email protected].

Zara Samdani can be reached at [email protected].