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San Diego Rabbi Assaulted by Teenager

The rabbi of a synagogue in a San Diego neighborhood was assaulted by a teenager on October 10.
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October 13, 2020

The rabbi of a synagogue in a San Diego neighborhood was assaulted by a teenager on October 10.

ABC 10 reported that Rabbi Yonatan Halevy was walking with his father to Shiviti Congregation in University City, which is near UC San Diego, when a teenager rode his bike over to them. Halevy told KUSI News that the teen hit him in the head with his fist and shouted “n—–“ and “white power.”

“I was dressed in traditional Jewish Middle Eastern holiday garb, and I fell down to the floor and my hat fell down to the floor, and I’m just glad he hit me instead of hitting my father, who would have suffered much injuries than myself,” Halevy said.

The teen then began circling the synagogue on his bike, his friends on skateboards, and began taunting Halevy and other congregants.

Halevy told ABC 10 that the teen who assaulted him is part of a group of teenagers who have routinely caused trouble for the synagogue.

“Everyday they come by here, taunt us, throwing bottles at us, sitting on our roof blasting music, and then breaking a window to my van,” Halevy said. He also told KUSI that the teens have been stealing property from the synagogue as well.

Police are investigating the matter as a hate crime; Halevy said that the synagogue is beefing up its security in response to the incident.

“We are fearful,” he said.

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) San Diego tweeted, “ADL San Diego is aware of this incident, and are pleased to know that SDPD [San Diego Police Department] has made finding the suspects a high priority. No one should be the victim of such crimes because of their religious beliefs.”

 

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