Los Angeles, CA, May 20, 2008 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Los Angeles City Council are offering a reward of $30,000 for information leading to the identification, apprehension, and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the brutal attack on an Orthodox Jewish man, 59, while he was taking a walk the evening of April 12, around 9:00 p.m. The LA City Council reward of $25,000 was arranged by Councilmember Wendy Greuel, in whose district the attack occurred. ADL contributed an additional $5,000 to the reward.
The victim was wearing a kippah, or head covering, worn by observant Jews. The perpetrators, two males in their 20's or 30's who had shaved heads, were wearing white t-shirts and spoke a language that was not English or Spanish. They hit the victim on the side of his head, knocked him down, and then continued to punch and kick him, calling him "dirty Jew" and "f***ing Jew." The attack took place on the corner of Bessemer St. and Bellaire Ave. in North Hollywood.
"Hate crimes not only injure the immediate victim, but they terrorize the whole community," said Councilwoman Wendy Greuel. "We must engage all of our resources to stop bigotry before it takes root. I am honored to partner with the Los Angeles Police Department, the Anti-Defamation League and local community members to fight prejudice."
"We are shocked and repulsed by this violent anti-Semitic attack. Crimes such as this are not just targeted at individuals in the Jewish community, they are targeted at our entire community," said Amanda Susskind, ADL Pacific Southwest Regional Director. "Perpetrators of hate crimes send a message to their victims – and everyone else who shares the victim's characteristics – that we are not welcome or safe."
Susskind expressed concern especially in light of the recent spate of hate crimes in the San Fernando Valley, which included anti-Semitic graffiti and vandalism attacks in Tarzana in January and incendiary devices launched at the Bernard Milken Jewish Community Campus and a private home in West Hills in February.
Susskind thanked the Los Angeles Police Department and Councilmember Greuel for aggressively pursuing the investigation of this most recent hate crime.
The most recent Hate Crimes Report released by the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations for 2006 shows that Jews continue to be the most frequently targeted religious group, now accounting for 71% of religious-based hate crimes.
ADL's 2007 Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents showed that anti-Semitic hate crimes and incidents continue to be a serious problem locally and nationwide.
Anyone with information about this crime is urged to contact Detective Jones-Harris at LAPD North Hollywood Division, (818) 623-4016.