To coincide with Hanukkah, billboards were placed across Los Angeles by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles this week which included phrases of love, wisdom, and encouragement from ancient Jewish texts.Phrases such as “a little bit of light dispels a lot of darkness” and “be slow to anger and abounding in kindness” are popping up across the city.
'We are worried and we want to do something about it'
Rob Goldenberg, Chief Creative Officer of the Federation, stated that “the constant antisemitism that Jews here in Los Angeles and around the country and world are seeing has had a devastating impact on our community. We are worried and we want to do something about it.
"When we discussed various ideas, we wanted to push back with love. Responding to antisemitism requires a whole societal response. The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, using ancient Jewish values and teachings, seeks to engage our community with messages of love — to counter the hate by spreading love to not only Jews in Los Angeles, but to all who have experienced hate and intolerance.
For there is so much more that unites us all than divides us.”
The billboards were posted in partnership with OUTFRONT MEDIA and can be viewed across LA.
“It’s been extremely upsetting to see the recent rise in hateful speech taking place," Bryan Canley, General Manager of OUTFRONT’s Los Angeles office, stated in a press release. He added that "there is no place for that in LA, or anywhere else. We are all part of one community, and it is important to stand in solidarity with our Jewish Angelenos. We have followed The Jewish Federation of Greater of Los Angeles and the work they do to combat hate and wanted to help amplify their efforts."
The rise in antisemitism both locally and nationwide has left many in the Jewish community worried and extremely upset.
Antisemitic hate crime in LA
In Los Angeles, according to the recent 2021 LA County Hate Crime Report, when it comes to religious-based crimes, the Jewish community has been targeted in 74% of the cases.
The impact on a community, feeling increased concern for their sense of safety and security, is real. In addition, according to data revealed by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles's recent Study of Jewish Los Angeles, three-quarters of Los Angeles Jews are very concerned about antisemitism around the world. Nearly one in five Jewish adults in LA indicated they personally experienced antisemitism in the previous year alone.
The unsettling flow of antisemitic tropes and disinformation from celebrities and politicians to hate groups, is a disconcerting phenomenon, and our Jewish community seeks answers and guidance. Los Angeles is home to the second largest Jewish population in the world outside of Israel and the city’s Jewish population has frequently been the target of antisemitic conspiracies including the notion that Jews control Hollywood and the entertainment and media industries.