Asian Pacific American Advisory Commission Launches Pennsylvania Asian Pacific American Jewish Alliance 

September 29, 2022

Today, the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs and the American Jewish Alliance launched the Pennsylvania Asian Pacific American Jewish Alliance at an event at the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History.

The Pennsylvania Asian Pacific American Jewish Alliance (PAPAJA) is part of a joint effort to help Asian Pacific Americans and Jews work together to fight hate crimes and discrimination, which increased at alarming rates during the pandemic. The project will build ties between these communities across Pennsylvania and create opportunities to work together to eliminate hate and discrimination.

“We unite to fight the Antisemitism and Anti-Asian hate targeting these two communities, build deep understanding between each other, and cultivate knowledge on unique common struggles, for example, the myth of the model minority and the myth of dual loyalty,” said Stephanie Sun, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs. “By starting conversations and sharing knowledge, we can begin to break down the walls that divide us and support each other to create real change in Pennsylvania.”

Pennsylvania and has experienced an increase in hate crimes over the past several years. These increases in Pennsylvania are not an anomaly; states across the nation are seeing the same trend. It is also important to note that hate crimes are also overwhelmingly underreported. At one point, the U.S. Department of Justice estimated that nearly two-thirds of hate crimes are never reported.

“I am the child of a Holocaust survivor who, like so many, fled hatred in their home nations and arrived in America to be able to worship as we please, excel in our work, live without fear of violence and provide for our families,” said Alan Hoffman, American Jewish Committee Philadelphia/Southern NJ President. “Today, with growing hate, everyone needs to realize that our very American democracy is at stake.”

In addition to the commission’s work to launch PAPAJA, the Wolf Administration is taking action to combat bigotry and reduce hate crimes in Pennsylvania.

Governor Wolf has instructed the Pennsylvania State Police and other members of the Wolf Administration to join efforts by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the Anti-Defamation League to track and fight hate crimes.

Additionally, the Wolf Administration has awarded more than $15 million in Nonprofit Security Grants in 2022.

The Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program, administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), was established to provide grants to nonprofit organizations who principally serve individuals, groups or institutions that are included within a bias motivation category for single bias hate crime incidents as identified by the FBI’s Hate Crime Statistics publication. The categories include race/ethnicity/ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, and gender identity. Governor Tom Wolf secured an additional $5 million in his final budget for the program.

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