fbpx
Thursday, August 13, 2020

AJC, Blumenfield Host Press Conference Commemorating Pittsburgh Shooting

Enjoying this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) and Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield held a press conference featuring various Jewish community leaders on Oct. 25 in front of Los Angeles City Hall, commemorating the Oct. 27, 2018, shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

The event also highlighted the rise of anti-Semitism in the country. Speakers included Jewish Federation Community Engagement Senior Vice President Alisa Finsten, Los Angeles Human Relations Commissioners Dr. Amna Qazi and Nirinjan Singh Khalsa, Word of Encouragement Church Pastor Rev. Najuma Smith-Pollard and Congregation Kol Ami Rabbi Denise Eger.

Blumenfield said the Pittsburgh shooting was “a gut punch to the Jewish community because Jews were systematically murdered.” He added the April shooting at the Chabad of Poway in San Diego County was “an attack on all of us.”

Blumenfeld then went on to say that anti-Semitism has increased during the past two years. He called out President Donald Trump’s remarks that Jews who vote for Democrats show “great disloyalty,” and Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) “it’s all about the Benjamins” tweet, highlight how both sides of the political spectrum have a hand in spreading anti-Semitic tropes. “It is a scary time we live in. We need to figure out how to persevere and how to embrace each other,” he said.

Fifth District City Councilmember Paul Koretz recited the names of the 11 victims killed in the Pittsburgh shooting and said that the shooting serves as a reminder that bigotry in all forms needs to be denounced. He also blamed Trump’s rhetoric for inciting hatred throughout the country.

“President Trump’s words are frequently taken as a dog whistle of secret approval to the hate-motivated acts that happen,” Koretz said. “We condemn this. We can’t pretend that the world has moved past hatred, as we might have thought was the case just a few years ago.”

He added that more than 7,000 hate crimes occur on average annually in the U.S. and that a significant number involve gun violence. “One should not fear to go to a place of worship, school, in public or at home,” Koretz said. He also called for “stronger mental health guidelines” governing firearms sales, stating,  “One year ago, 11 people were murdered. We can’t forget this. We can celebrate their lives and we can vow to stand together to eliminate hate and prevent future tragedies. As Americans, we profess with liberty and justice for all, and it’s time to follow through on that.”

“We can’t pretend that the world has moved past hatred, as we might have thought was the case just a few years ago.” L.A. City Councilmember Paul Koretz

City Controller Ron Galperin called the Pittsburgh shooting “an act of terror” and said that while he was angered and saddened by it, he wasn’t surprised that the shooting had occurred. “This terrible shooting was not an isolated incident of hate directed at the Jewish community, or similarly directed at others in our nation who may be targeted because of hate,” Galperin said. “What we see is a pattern, and a pattern that is raising its head.”

He added that anti-Semites generally also hate other minorities and that the Jewish community needs to be unified to speak out against bigotry in all forms, otherwise it will fester.

AJC Los Angeles Regional Director Richard S. Hirschhaut noted that in an AJC survey of American Jews released on Oct. 23, 84% think that anti-Semitism is getting worse in the country and nearly a third are afraid to wear religious garb in public.

“In America in 2019, who would have believed it?” Hirschhaut said. “Of course, the opinions of American Jews are not the only barometer of anti-Semitism but they are an important one. Government officials, opinion leaders and civil society must listen closely to these views.” He called for increased awareness of anti-Semitism as well as for security to be increased at Jewish institutions.

Anti-Defamation League Los Angeles Regional Director Amanda Susskind said there was a 14% increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes in Los Angeles County from 2017 to 2018, and a 21% increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes throughout California over the same period.

“Our fight back has to be more than just in our hearts and in our daily actions,” she said. “We have to lean into the work of fighting hate online through holding [social media] platforms accountable.”

Enjoyed this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Latest Articles

Jacob Poushter: On The Global God Divide

Shmuel Rosner and Pew researcher Jacob Poushter discuss his latest study, which raises the question: is belief in God necessary for good morals? Jacob Poushter...

Beanie Feldstein Set to Play ‘Harriet the Spy’

She will voice the curious 11-year-old title character in “Harriet the Spy,” for Apple TV+

Nazis Who Killed Children Ran German Children’s Homes After the War, Report Finds

The report states that torture, abuse and malnourishment were commonplace at these homes.

‘Shtisel’s’ Michael Aloni to Star in ‘The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem’

Aloni will next lead the cast in Yes TV’s adaptation of “The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem,” a multi-generational, historical story.

Tiffany Haddish, Howie Mandel, Judy Gold, Gilbert Gottfried to Take Part in Lucille Ball Virtual Festival

The National Comedy Center’s annual Lucille Ball Festival goes virtual this year, with many MOTs among the artists taking part.

Sorry, Not Sorry: How Do We Forgive and Evolve in an Age of Cancel Culture?

Cancel culture is based on the heartless assertion that people can’t and won’t ever change. In Judaism, we learn the opposite.

‘Modern Kosher’ Offers a Taste of Jewish Cuisine’s Evolution

The book is so inventive and inviting that it has a shelf life that will extend far beyond our present circumstances.

Nick Cannon, ADL Call for Unity Between Black and Jewish Communities in Joint Op-Ed

"When Blacks and Jews fight one another, racists rejoice and bigots celebrate, even as the silent majority among our people mourn."

Israel’s Hadassah Hospital ‘a Partner’ in Development of Russian Coronavirus Vaccine, Director Says

"They’re doing fine work, they work differently to us and we adapt our methods to them.”

Black Jewish Cantorial and Rabbinical Students Share Their Experiences of Racism in the Community

“I expected my Jewish family to stand up for me and that’s not what happened. I just want our community to not be complacent."

Culture

Beanie Feldstein Set to Play ‘Harriet the Spy’

She will voice the curious 11-year-old title character in “Harriet the Spy,” for Apple TV+

‘Shtisel’s’ Michael Aloni to Star in ‘The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem’

Aloni will next lead the cast in Yes TV’s adaptation of “The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem,” a multi-generational, historical story.

Tiffany Haddish, Howie Mandel, Judy Gold, Gilbert Gottfried to Take Part in Lucille Ball Virtual Festival

The National Comedy Center’s annual Lucille Ball Festival goes virtual this year, with many MOTs among the artists taking part.

‘Modern Kosher’ Offers a Taste of Jewish Cuisine’s Evolution

The book is so inventive and inviting that it has a shelf life that will extend far beyond our present circumstances.

Black Jewish Cantorial and Rabbinical Students Share Their Experiences of Racism in the Community

“I expected my Jewish family to stand up for me and that’s not what happened. I just want our community to not be complacent."

Latest Articles
Latest

Jacob Poushter: On The Global God Divide

Shmuel Rosner and Pew researcher Jacob Poushter discuss his latest study, which raises the question: is belief in God necessary for good morals? Jacob Poushter...

Beanie Feldstein Set to Play ‘Harriet the Spy’

She will voice the curious 11-year-old title character in “Harriet the Spy,” for Apple TV+

Nazis Who Killed Children Ran German Children’s Homes After the War, Report Finds

The report states that torture, abuse and malnourishment were commonplace at these homes.

‘Shtisel’s’ Michael Aloni to Star in ‘The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem’

Aloni will next lead the cast in Yes TV’s adaptation of “The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem,” a multi-generational, historical story.

Tiffany Haddish, Howie Mandel, Judy Gold, Gilbert Gottfried to Take Part in Lucille Ball Virtual Festival

The National Comedy Center’s annual Lucille Ball Festival goes virtual this year, with many MOTs among the artists taking part.

Hollywood

‘Dirty Dancing’ Sequel Starring Jennifer Grey Announced

It’s official: A “Dirty Dancing” sequel is coming, and it’s starring Jewish actress Jennifer Grey, who played Frances “Baby” Houseman in the 1987 original.

Roy Moore’s Lawsuit Against Sacha Baron Cohen Over Being Pranked Can Proceed, Judge Rules

By the time the episode aired, it was widely known that Cohen was punking public figures.

Podcasts

Jacob Poushter: On The Global God Divide

Shmuel Rosner and Pew researcher Jacob Poushter discuss his latest study, which raises the question: is belief in God necessary for good morals? Jacob Poushter...

Monthy Recap: Criminal (in)Justice, Virtue Flagging and Why Seth Rogen’s Wrong

Naor and Eytan talk about the events that took place in Israel during the last month.   RSS Subscribe Two Nice Jewish Boys · #205 - Monthly...

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

x