LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Following the shootings of two Jewish men last week after they left services at synagogues in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood, City Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky sought more funding today for the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles' Community Security Initiative, which provides security and support services to local Jewish institutions.
Yaroslavsky filed a motion seeking to allocate $150,000 to expand the initiative, asking for various departments to report to the council's Budget and Finance Committee within 30 days on identifying the funding. The Community Security Initiative provides security at no cost to more than 500 Jewish institutions across Los Angeles, including active shooter training and installing security and defensive equipment.
Demands for services have increased with a rise in antisemitic activity, as ``more and more Jewish synagogues, institutions, and nonprofit organizations seek to protect themselves against this rising wave of violence,'' according to the motion. Hate crimes in 2021 in Los Angeles rose to levels not seen since 2002, and nearly three-quarters of religious hate crimes targeted Jewish populations, according to the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations' annual report.
Los Angeles is home to 560,000 Jews, the largest number of Jewish people outside of Israel and New York, according to the motion. Yaroslavsky was among several city leaders who attended a town hall Monday to address antisemitic violence in the wake of the shootings. ``As a people, we know (we) always have to be vigilant, but the unease we feel in our city -- in Los Angeles, in 2023 for crying out loud -- is deeply disturbing and wholly unacceptable,'' Yaroslavsky said at the town hall.