Jewish neighbors feeling threatened

| November 30, 2023 | 0 Comments

Nov. 24 disruptive demonstration at Pan Pacific Park, Grove, Third and Fairfax

Local residents, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, have felt significant distress on account of the savage Hamas terrorist attack into Israel on Oct. 7. Rising national and international anti-Semitic rhetoric and actions have people on edge locally. The widely reported anti-Semitic graffiti written on the wall of the Fairfax Avenue parking lot of Canter’s Deli on Nov. 1 (and quickly removed by owner Marc Canter and his staff) was just one of many actions keeping nerves on edge.

DEMONSTRATORS for Palestine disrupted business at The Grove the day after Thanksgiving.                 Photo by Hans Gutknecht / MediaNews Group / Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

The day following Thanksgiving, a rally with 200 demonstrators took place in Pan Pacific Park, the location of Holocaust Museum LA and the statue of Haym Solomon, a Jewish hero of the American Revolution. From the park, the protesting group marched through The Grove to disrupt shoppers there, and the marchers then headed to the intersection of Third Street and Fairfax Avenue, where many sat and shut down traffic for nearly an hour.

The Los Angeles Daily News reported in its Nov. 25-26 edition that, “The marchers then headed back to Pan Pacific Park, stopping at Third Street and The Grove Drive, where they once again temporarily blocked traffic while chanting, with one demonstrator waving a Palestinian flag while standing on the bed of a truck.” According to the Daily News, there were reports of some “minor skirmishes, but there were no immediate reports of arrests or injuries.”

The organizers were responding to an international anti-Israel movement that includes many participants, as listed on the website

It is clear that this movement is not just pro-Palestine, but anti-Israel. One local person who observed the Nov. 25 activity, but did not want to give his name, told the Daily News that he took offense at a demonstration held in a neighborhood with a large Jewish population. “To insult us, to yell that if (the Palestinians) don’t get … the entire country of Israel, that they will never rest … chanting about killing Jews and taking over Israel on the single most Jewish street in Los Angeles — how is one supposed to perceive that?” he told the Daily News.

The Oct. 7 surprise attack and murders and kidnappings of innocent civilians in Israel, and the subsequent rhetoric being amplified locally and abroad, represent what one local resident described to the Chronicle as the most “significant attack on Jewish people in recent history.”

Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn of Hancock Park’s Yavneh Hebrew Academy told the Chronicle in early November that the situation is impacting how the teachers are educating at Yavneh. “It’s impacting sense of safety and security.” Rabbi Einhorn cited many other effects that the Oct. 7 attack and aftermath are having on local Jewish people and institutions.

Such gestures as tearing down posters placed to support kidnapping victims of the Oct. 7 Hamas raid have an impact, as those who tear them down no doubt intend. Such tensions — faced by both Jews and Muslim Americans — are well documented in the daily media. See the thoughtful Nov. 5 Orange County Register story:

The sense of hurt and terror felt by many Jews was described in a much-cited opinion piece written by American actress Julianna Margulies in the Nov. 20 issue of USA Today:

New York Times columnist Bret Stephens also has written about this real fear on Nov. 10:, as has the Los Angeles Times on Nov. 14, focusing on the need for sensitivity for students of all faiths in local schools:

The fear is real; what can be done?

With members of the Jewish community feeling unsafe with war reverberating around the world, a new security company has been added to a list distributed by the Hancock Park Homeowners Association (HPHOA). Magen Am, Hebrew for “nation’s shield,” joins longtime local security providers SSA Security Group and ADT.

“Magen Am is a nonprofit actively working in our community,” Marty Beck, security chair for the HPHOA, told us. Besides private patrol in the La Brea / Hancock Park area, the nonprofit also offers training in gun ownership and other self-defense techniques.

Launched in 2015 by Rabbi Yossi Eilfort, the licensed security company has 60 trained volunteers embedded in schools and shuls, as well as patrol service protecting the community at large.

Eilfort had been a full-time rabbi who began the security company as a volunteer. It has grown to a full-time post on account of the overwhelming need.

Last year, the company received 950 calls for help. In the six weeks between the Hamas Oct. 7 attack on Israel and mid-November, the nonprofit was overwhelmed with 1,400 calls.

“We can’t keep up. The need is higher than ever before,” Eilfort said.

“Things have been getting progressively more challenging the last few years,” he said. But recent events have “changed the global perspective on Jewish security.”

Just like 9-11 changed flying forever, “the Jewish community will never be the same. I think it will continue to get worse before it gets better,” Eilfort observed.

Security companies

The following are security companies that serve the general area of Larchmont Chronicle readers:

ADT: 800-238-4653 — Security monitoring and patrol.

Deep Sentinel: 833-983-6006 — A camera-monitored 24/7 service with live security guards and AI assistance.

Magen Am:  310-515-5310 — Security patrol services.

SSA Security Group: 818-773-5600 — Subscription-based security and patrol.

Suzan Filipek also contributed to this story.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *