By KPIX Staff
SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — After several anti-Semitic incidents across the country and in the Bay Area, local Jewish leaders, elected officials and community members gathering for a show of solidarity on Thursday.
The group came together at Congregation Emanu El in San Francisco to show support for the Jewish community.
“Our kids have experienced fear because they are Jewish,” Rabbi Beth Singer said.
Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council Tyler Gregory said several recent anti-Semitic events have sparked concern within the Jewish community.
“The Chabad of Noe Valley here at home was tagged, as was Manny’s in the Mission. Just last week, an anti-Semitic plot was foiled in Los Gatos. A man with a manifesto to ‘wipe out Jews’ was stopped from what we can only assume what would have been a terrible, terrible tragedy,” Gregory said.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta was present for the event.
“There is no place for anti-Semitism in California or anywhere, at any time. Period. Full stop. End of story,” Bonta said. “I’m saddened that in this moment, the Jewish-American community does not feel safe.”
He explained incidents of hate and anti-Semitism have increased this year.
“Attacks on community members, social media, physical, it’s the whole range. They went up this year over last year against the Jewish-American community,” Bonta said.
KPIX 5 spoke with Manny Yekutiel, who says his restaurant has been targeted many times since he opened.
“There’s been a lot of anti-Semitic graffiti scrawled all across my business. I can’t even count how many times at this point,” Yekutiel said.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed was also in attendance.
“The challenging issues of racism and hate will not divide us in San Francisco,” said the mayor.
Yekutiel thinks the event designed to raise awareness is a great first step towards combatting the problem, and left on Thursday feeling hopeful. However, it doesn’t repair a shared feeling of vulnerability.
“It’s real. Jews all over this country are walking into synagogue and going into small businesses and shopping at grocery stores, and we are starting to wonder, am I safe here?” Yekutiel said.
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