On Saturday, October 14, 2017, a group of white supremacists gathered in Fairmount Park. Beth Grossman, a Jewish woman and fourth-generation Philadelphian, who has spent much of her legal career seeking justice for crime victims, was deeply affected by the demonstration.
The next day, Sunday, October 15, 2017, Beth was at the Shaare Shamayim Synagogue Candidates’ Forum, the only District Attorney candidate to appear at the event that day. After the event, she reflected on recent events of vandalism against the Jewish community in Philadelphia over the past year: Temple Menorah Keneseth Chai in Tacony, vandalized three times since last December; the vandalism of Congregation Beth Solomon; and repeated desecration of graves at Mt. Carmel Cemetery.
“The white supremacist gathering in our City of Brotherly Love, does nothing in reducing divisiveness that exists all over as of late. As a Jewish woman, I find it disturbing and unsettling,” Beth said, “especially after seeing Nazi flags being waved in Charlottesville.”
While, as Mayor Kenney stated in response to the events, “the First Amendment is the First Amendment”, and thus affords citizens the right to rally, protest, and chant, it also affords citizens the right to disagree.
Beth said, “As an American, I value this right,” and applauded the Philadelphia Police Department for maintaining the peace, she went on to say: “I neither approve nor condone this originally planned event. Philadelphia does not need this. And that is my protest.”