Hate crimes targeting Jews rose sharply in California in 2019 despite an overall decline in hate crimes in the state, according to a report released on Thursday by the state’s Criminal Justice Statistics Center.
Antisemitic crimes — including the deadly gun attack on a Passover service on a Chabad synagogue in Poway — increased by 12 percent in 2019, the report said.
The one person to have been murdered in a hate crime was Lori Gilbert-Kaye, a 60-year-old woman who was in attendance at the Poway synagogue on April 27, the last day of the Passover holiday.
Three other worshipers, including the community’s rabbi and an 8-year-old girl, were wounded in the attack carried out by John Earnest, a white supremacist.
The rise in antisemitic acts came as overall hate crime declined in California by nearly 5 percent, the report noted. A total of 141 antisemitic incidents were recorded in 2019.
California state law defines hate crimes as those targeting victims because of their race or ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender or a disability.
The definitions have been expanded at various times in recent years, as the state has attempted to counter the under-reporting of hate crimes.