(PatriotWise.com) — With the rise in antisemitism following Hamas’ attacks on Israel, Jews in Los Angeles are hiring security, arming themselves, and taking self-defense classes, according to a former MMA fighter who runs a nonprofit training Jewish communities in self-defense.
Rabbi Yossi Eilfort, a former MMA fighter who founded the Jewish nonprofit Magen Am USA to train community members and volunteers in gun safety and self-defense, told Fox News that growing up facing antisemitism prompted him to inspire others “to take some level of action.”
Magen AM USA operates in Los Angeles and Phoenix and is the only Jewish organization on the West Coast licensed to provide armed security.
Until 2020, Eilfort was a full-time rabbi. But when the Defund the Police movement took off following the in-custody death of George Floyd, he began to devote all of his time to Magen Am, helping to ensure that synagogues, schools, and other Jewish facilities were protected.
Since then, Eilfort has seen a 100 percent increase among Los Angeles Jews embracing gun ownership. He admitted that he is neither a political advocate nor a lobbyist for the Second Amendment. Instead, his organization is “apolitical.”
He told Fox that Magen Am believes in preparing Jews. He said it is more dangerous for people with guns to not be properly trained, and he believes that those with more training are more prepared.
Antisemitic attacks in Los Angeles have spiked dramatically in recent years, increasing by 29 percent between 2020 and 2021, and by 217 percent between 2017 and 2021, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Eilfort told Fox News that since the October 7 attacks in Israel, calls to Magen Am have skyrocketed. In the first five days after the attacks, the organization fielded 638 phone calls. In all of 2022, Magen Am received only around a thousand calls.
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