They remember the massacre in the Pittsburgh synagogue and bring the community together against the rise of hate crimes against Jews and Latinos.

The third annual interreligious solidarity march brought together dozens of people and religious organizations in the San Fernando Valley to denounce the rise in hate crimes in Los Angeles County and across the country.

The Interreligious Solidarity Network organized the 1.4-mile march to bring together people from diverse backgrounds to combat hate and highlight the efforts of the community's community defense, while recalling the killing of 11 Jews in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, October 2918.

“We pray differently; we believe differently and our values ​​are different in certain aspects, but we unite as religious groups to tell the truth, fight for justice, decency and respect for all human beings, ”said Rabbi Jim Kaufman, a founding member of the Interreligious Solidarity Network and Rabbi Emeritus of Beth Hillel Temple in North Hollywood.

Marchistas against racial hatred in the Sun Valley remembered the Jews killed last year in Pittsburgh. (Jorge Macías)

This year, several hate incidents have been recorded in the San Fernando Valley in recent months, said Marsha Novak, founder of the Interreligious Solidarity Network.

In March, a Jewish institution in the West Valley received threatening voice messages such as "kill all Jews" and "I will deliver you all," according to the Los Angeles Anti-Defamation League Regional Office.

On September 18, a welcome sign at the Ahavat Shalom Temple in Northridge was found shattered with the message "six million was not enough," an apparent reference to the six million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust.

"The crime of vandalism and hate recently experienced at the Ahavat Shalom Temple is worrying, as it knocks on the doors of our spiritual home," said singer Ken Cohen of this Jewish reformist congregation.

“We march with the Interreligious Solidarity Network because we believe and fight for a more lasting vision for our local community and the nation, where similarities are celebrated and differences are respected, where collective voices of love triumph over hate,” said Kaufman .

In this regard, Reverend Steve Jerbi, president of the Interfaith Solidarity Network said he lives in Northridge.

Steve Jerbi is president of the Interreligious Solidarity Network. (Jorge Macías)

"It's really heartbreaking to see that happen here," he said. "What I often think is that hate is always loud, but love has to be heard louder and better organized."

In California, anti-Semitic attacks – and also against Latinos – have increased in 2019, as have vandalism during the past three years.

In 2018 there were 126 hate crimes against Jews, compared with 104 in 2017, according to the report of the office of the State Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, which was published recently.

Hate crimes against Latinos also increased by 18%. The attacks against this population were 149 in 2018, unlike 126 the previous year.

“Within my group of friends, we have fought for the rights of immigrants and in general for the civil rights of all Angels,” said Saraí Ferrer, a participant in the march. "It weighs on my soul and it hurts me to hurt any of my fellow men."

Ferrer said the pain of hate crimes should hurt because it hurts all thinking and socially conscious people.

He considered that people with extremist mentalities in any sense "will never be of help to our communities, much less in a cosmopolitan city like Los Angeles, where a diversity of cultures unites us."

This year's march began in Valley Beth Israel and included participants from six religions, with stops and brief comments, as well as community songs. At each stop the themes of unity, defense, compassion, diversity and community were touched. Here the Holy Genoveva Catholic Church, in Panorama City and the Presbyterian Church in that same city were also included.

"Justice is the best expression of the mission of the Inter-religious Solidarity Network in addressing and advocating for those who experience hatred and violence, homelessness and hunger, for those seeking security and protection of our planet," said Marsha Novak, co-founder and vice president of finance of the ISN.


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