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An anti-hate mural showcasing Jewish diversity goes up in an L.A. neighborhood where antisemitic shootings took place

By 06/06/2023 4:08 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff


The first of a planned series of anti-hate murals has recently gone up in a Jewish neighborhood of Los Angeles.

It is a sizable artwork depicting a Jewish mother lighting Shabbat candles.

“The Common Thread,” painted by Iranian-Jewish artist Cloe Hakakian, was displayed on the façade of a facility for events in Pico-Robertson, a mostly Jewish area renowned for its plethora of synagogues and kosher eateries reflecting a variety of Jewish traditions.

A person in Pico-Robertson shot two Jewish males on consecutive days in February, according to authorities, who had “a history of animus towards the Jewish community.”

The Hebrew phrases “l’dor v’dor,” which translate to “from generation to generation,” are shown as flames on the mural.

“I’ve painted a number of neighborhood murals, but this one was unique since the neighborhood and every person involved contributed to it.

They discussed their Jewish experiences and hardships. In the past and the present, revolutions and social transformation have been greatly influenced by public art, Hakakian told The Los Angeles Daily News.

“A mural painted in a public place where cars pass by would ideally motivate others even outside of our neighborhood to speak and ask questions.

That’s a significant first step in the battle against all hate crimes, including antisemitism, she continued.

“And I hope it helps Jews feel seen and aware of their community’s presence.”

Several additional high-profile occurrences, in addition to the shootings in Pico-Robertson, which occurred only a few blocks from the mural’s site, have recently raised security concerns among Los Angeles Jews.

A municipal councilman who represents the traditionally Jewish Fairfax area claimed to have detected antisemitism in the damage done there during the 2020 demonstrations for racial justice.

In reaction to antisemitic remarks made by the artist Kanye West, members of the hate organization Goyim Defense League carried posters reading “Kanye is right about the Jews” over a Los Angeles highway in October of last year.

In Los Angeles, there were 237 antisemitic events last year, up 30% from 2021 overall, and they included 143 harassment cases, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s assessment of such instances.

“At a time when we see antisemitism and hateful messaging on the rise, it’s more important now than ever to highlight the experience and contributions of Jews and other marginalized communities in our city,” said Jeffrey Abrams, the ADL’s Los Angeles regional director, in a statement.

We are aware that exposure to many cultures and experiences may lessen prejudice and hatred, and that is precisely what we hope this painting will do.

The first of several murals titled “The Common Thread” that will be unveiled around the city as a part of the “L.A. Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations'” Hate: Summer of Solidarity” campaign.

Other initiatives will also combat hatred through the arts and local gatherings around the city.

Hakakian also highlighted certain aspects of her painting in her statement that “celebrate the diversity of Jews within our community and the cultural experiences shared across time and place.”

“There is a young child held in the arms of her mother as older generations stand behind her, each figure wearing a pattern from the diverse cultural diasporas in Los Angeles County,” Hakakian writes in the folds of the woman’s headscarf. Footprints are a symbol for Jewish communal resilience, healing, and migration as they progress through the desert toward a bright horizon.

The visitor is reminded of the larger community within which the Jewish community survives by the silhouettes of historically significant Los Angeles County monuments.


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