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Bass holds town hall, condemns antisemitic violence

Mayor Karen Bass, Chief Michael Moore and Sheriff Robert Luna denounced two shootings driven by antisemitism in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles

Karen Bass addresses crowd at town hall on antisemitic violence

Karen Bass and LA city council members held a town hall Monday to discuss antisemitic violence after two Jewish men were shot last week. Here’s Cami Twomey with the story.

Monday night, LA Mayor Karen Bass and other officials led a town hall to condemn antisemitic violence after the shootings of two Jewish men. Last week, on Monday and Wednesday, two men were shot after leaving services at synagogues in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood. Both victims survived the attacks. A suspect was taken into custody Thursday, and charged with federal hate crimes.

During the town hall Karen Bass addressed a crowd of 400 people, recognizing the communities fear of antisemitic violence in the wake of the shootings.

BASS: Our Jewish community was terrorized and that terror was felt across Los Angeles. First we had one shooting, then a second. And we have no way of knowing if it’s going to stop.

During her speech Bass made it clear she stands in solidarity against antisemitism and that hate has no place in Los Angeles.

BASS: Let me just say, when antisemitism crawls out of the shadows, make no mistake, Angelenos from every community stand united to stamp it out and to ensure that justice is served.

Rabbi Noah Farkas, President and CEO of Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles fears for the safety of the Jewish community. And his fear is founded in data. LAPD statistics show a 24% increase in anti-Semitic violence last year compared to 2021.

FARKAS: The fear we feel is real. The horror we’re experiencing is real. Our feelings of anger and fear have grown intensely here in L.A. in the wake of this week’s last week’s abhorrent antisemitic shootings.

Paul Krekorian, the L.A. City Council president believes that hate should be addressed where it starts.

KREKORIAN: So until we get to the root of the problem, no matter how much law enforcement we have, we’re not going to put a stop to this kind of crime. We have to do it as a society.

David Bocarsly, the executive director of JPAC (Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California) believes hate is bigger than these incidences alone.

BOCARSLY: Hate does not target just Jews, it targets everybody. It is bound up together. When we combat it together, we can really try to root it out from our society.

This afternoon, LA city council woman Katy Yaroslavsky filed a motion seeking more funding for the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles Community Service Initiative. This initiative aims to provide security and support service to local Jewish institutions. Yaroslavsky was among the many city leaders who attended the town hall last night. For Annenberg Media, I’m Cami Twomey.