I shouldn’t be shocked by this time. But the Los Angeles County statistics on Hate Crimes came out this week. In the category of religious hate crimes. The overwhelming number of them are against Jews. Antisemitism is alive and well in the City of Angels. According to the latest information from the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Rights 72 percent of religious hate crimes in LA county target Jews and Jewish institutions.in 2017.
This in a city with a Jewish Mayor, a Jewish city Controller, and Jewish City attorney and several Jews on the City council. This in a city with the second largest Jewish population in the country. This is a city with such diversity that there are more religious institutions of every flavor, nationality and ethnicity than anywhere else.
According to the report the number of hate crimes against Jews rose 4 percent from 2016.
This is a time not to retreat into the safety of our cocoons or shtetls. But it is a time to build stronger interfaith and inter-group relationships. It is time to support Jewish institutions like never before-because they are uniquely positioned to deepen this kind of dialogue and education.
These times and these statistics call upon those of us in the Jewish community to yes, stay vigilant and to be aware. It calls upon us to fight Antisemitism wherever it is including when it is in the guise of anti-Zionism or anti-Israel rhetoric. And it calls upon us to strengthen our Jewish communal infrastructure, Synagogues, Federations, and Jewish organizations with your involvement, engagement, money and support.