On Saturday afternoon, Jiu-Jitsu practitioner and security volunteer Remi Franklin was guarding La Brea Street when a very prominent orthodox Jew in the neighborhood returned home from the Sabbath service.
Franklin, a Jew and raised in Malibu, laughed loudly as people passed by him.
“Good Sabbath!” He said. “Take care!”
People smiled with gratitude.
Franklin, 37, and other volunteers have been in the Fairfax area for the second consecutive day to provide protection to an edgy community.
Some stood on the sidewalk, offered to get people in and out of the synagogue, asked if they felt safe, and wished them a happy Sabbath. Others were in more incognito mode, sitting in a parked car.
“Last night I saw you guys take people home and it was surreal,” said a man who stopped to thank Franklin. “We are proud of you.”
Franklin said he felt he was called to provide his support after multiple Recent anti-Semitic attacks, Includes a violent attack on a diner at a sushi restaurant in the West Hollywood area.
In a video capturing part of a Tuesday night attack, people in a Palestinian flag-raising car caravan say “F-you” and “you are ashamed of yourself” while driving a restaurant. Should be. “
Police arrested a man In connection with the Friday incident. The man was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, police said. Detectives recommend additional hate crime fees.
The attack occurred after a deadly battle in the Gaza Strip and Israel, which heightened US tensions between Israeli and Palestinian supporters.Fragile The ceasefire came into effect on Friday..
The day after the sushi restaurant incident, Franklin turned to Instagram for help. “If anyone in the Jewish community in LA is worried about walking to sur or home … I will walk with you.”
“Just listen,” he wrote. “I don’t care about day, time, time … because no one steps up … I do, my friends do, and your community does.”
He said the reaction was great. He said that groups of both Jewish and non-Jewish volunteers are now monitoring the entire Southland, other states, and even abroad.
“People want to do Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, mixed martial arts, and just friends with them. something“A former dancer or gymnast woman is walking with a person to make her feel more comfortable,” he said.
“These people are here to enjoy their families, walk and surreal, and go home. They need to be safe,” he said of the Jewish community he was watching. Told.
On Friday night, Franklin saw an 80-year-old rabbi and his grandson walking in the Fairfax district and was scared to take them home. He did because the rabbi asked Franklin to return to his house on Saturday morning and take them to the synagogue.
“Why does he need this? What did any of them do to deserve this?” Franklin said.
Franklin’s volunteer group was not the only one to provide special protection to the Jewish community on Saturday. A Los Angeles police officer was conducting additional patrols in the neighborhood, and a large mobile command center was parked near Beverly Boulevard and La Brea Avenue.
Jewish security guards Meigen Am The Hebrew word for “national shield” — also continued to be monitored.
But many continued to be afraid.
“I’ve never been so scared of being in Los Angeles,” said 35-year-old Steve Goldstein while walking on La Brea Avenue.
Goldstein said a group of people came to his synagogue off La Brea on Monday night and shouted, “Death to the Jews!” I swear. A friend who was walking alone was chased by a large number of cars carrying the Palestinian flag, and the crew wore a Keffiyeh scarf, he said.
Goldstein said he was furious because he felt that few people were concerned about anti-Semitic attacks and the fear of attacking the Jewish community. He said media, including the Los Angeles Times, had fueled the flames with “biased” coverage that was sympathetic to Palestinians.
Goldstein’s 11-year-old daughter, who was walking with him, said her mother wouldn’t walk or play near the crowded streets, fearing that someone would attack her as Jewish. It was.
“Whenever there is an attack on people of color or Asians, I see tremendous anger from the media. Whenever there is an attack on Jews, I don’t see that anger,” said Goldstein. Said a 39-year-old Jewish man who was part of a walking group.
Shani Canner, who lived in Toronto and visited a family in Los Angeles, said she was “very self-conscious” about being Jewish in public because she didn’t want to get negative attention or be attacked. It was.
“I’m more aware now,” she said. “They make it personal. I didn’t do anything. I was born as a Jew.”
Among the volunteers on Saturday was Jonathan Lipnicki, 30, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt actor who trained in Muay Thai and attended a Sabbath dinner with Franklin. He said a group of volunteers had talked to police who knew what they were doing.
“Many people are definitely scared,” he said. “It’s a terrifying time for the Jewish community.”
Saturday was Lipnikki’s first volunteer shift. He has been in the area since 7am and spent most of the day there.
An older orthodox man stopped and thanked him.
“I can’t believe it. Thank you so much,” said the man. “Are you here with the MMA group? Are you scared?”
“No, you have to do the right thing, man,” Lipnikki replied.
“It’s good to be here,” he sighed after the man passed by.
He said he was thinking of the survivors of his grandfather Auschwitz. He told him to always play his part.