Editorial: We Stand with the Jewish Community
We Stand with the Jewish Community
Antisemitic hate incidents have increased by over 30% in the last year, and this horrifying trend was displayed on an L.A. overpass this past weekend in support of Kanye West’s recent hate speech targeted at Jewish people.
While Jewish people make up roughly 3% of the California population, FBI reported antisemitic hate crimes are disproportionately higher (10.5%) and increasing. San Diego has one of the largest Jewish populations in the U.S.
In the past four years, there have been several devastating hostage scenarios or shootings in Jewish synagogues, killing at least 11 people with more wounded, and terrorizing countless others. One of these synagogue shootings was in our backyard of Poway.
Fear and hatred have no place in healthy, thriving communities. We must stand firmly together and condemn these hateful incidents.
“What people may not realize is that for many years now, Jewish organizations are having to invest significant amounts of money on security measures because people are afraid to come to Jewish spaces without these protections,” said Heidi Gantwerk, CEO of the Jewish Federation of San Diego County. “The Jewish community is as anxious as I’ve ever seen it. We are witnessing the mainstream normalization of antisemitism, and it’s reprehensible.”
For more information about local efforts, events and causes supporting the Jewish community, Gantwerk recommends learning more about the following organizations:
- Hillel San Diego – building community and working to make college campuses safe for Jewish students
- The Butterfly Project – using Holocaust education, art, and testimony to cultivate empathy and social responsibility in classrooms, museums and community centers.
- The Jewish Federation of San Diego County – caring for Jews in need everywhere and strengthening Jewish identity and community
- Antidefamation League – Fighting hate for good