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Police Investigating 2 Attacks Against Members Of Jewish Community In Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Jewish leaders say anti-Semitism is on the rise across the country.

In the last month, there have been two attacks against four Orthodox Jewish people in Squirrel Hill. Both attacks were in the evening.

According to Shawn Brokos, director of community security for the Greater Pittsburgh Jewish Federation, one was a verbal assault and the other a beating.

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The verbal assault was on June 4, when three people were screamed at near Beechwood Boulevard and Denniston Avenue. A man allegedly yelled anti-Semitic comments at them.

"It was very hateful in what was said, very derogatory," Brokos said.

Then on June 13, a man was attacked while leaving a service near Murray Avenue and Bartlett Street. The victim went to the hospital and had his hip replaced.

At this point, the federation can't concretely attribute that attack to anti-Semitism. Pittsburgh police are investigating.

"Whether it's an attack on the Jewish community or the community in Pittsburgh, it's an attack against one of us in the community. That's an attack against all of us," Brokos said.

"We can't tolerate that. That's just unacceptable," state Representative Dan Frankel said.

Rep. Frankel represents the neighborhood and is working on a package of bills to address hate crimes.

"The legislation alone doesn't do it but I think it's a start," Rep. Frankel said.

He's hoping to introduce the bills after work on the state budget is done.

"We're hoping that we can get the Republicans, who control the agenda in the House and Senate, to help us move this legislation," Rep. Frankel said.

As the local Jewish community deals with more hateful acts, they say their faith will not falter.

"These types of verbal or physical assaults are not going to stop them from worshipping or going to services and going about their daily lives," Brokos said.

Leaders are asking the community to protect each other. They want to remind you: If you see something, say something.

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