Jewish volunteers defend LA synagogue from rioters

“I was here as part of Magen Am, and we defended Shaarei Tefila today,” a volunteer said.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

Members of the Jewish volunteer security group Magen Am fended off rioters intending to deface the Shaarei Tefila synagogue in Los Angeles on Saturday night.

In a video circulating on social media and verified by The Algemeiner, a member of Magen Am described the attack and the security group’s firm response.

The volunteer pointed out graffiti on the sidewalk in front of the synagogue. “They were spray-painting this whole area,” he said, until he “sent them off.” Though outnumbered, he said that displaying “a little bit of confidence” seemed to work.

While several nearby businesses were pillaged and there was “tear gas galore” in the area, he said that the group of volunteers stood firm on the steps of Shaarei Tefila.

He pointed to a single line of spray paint on one of the pillars outside the synagogue. “This one line a guy started, and I literally sent him flying. Didn’t touch him, but sent him flying. He got pretty scared off by us,” he said.

Other than this small paint mark, rioters were unable to do any damage to the synagogue. “I was here as part of Magen Am, and we defended Shaarei Tefila today,” the volunteer concluded.

Magen Am (Hebrew for “Nation’s Shield”) is a registered nonprofit organization whose mission statement is “To train and empower the community to secure itself from within.” The group offers a variety of training programs aimed at protecting the Jewish community.

Several other synagogues in Los Angeles were struck by rioters. “F–k Israel, Free Palestine” was spray-painted on the wall of Congregation Beth Israel.

In addition, Beit Medrash Kehilat Yaakov and Congregation Tifereth Tzvi were vandalized with spray paint, and multiple Jewish businesses were looted.

Members of Magen Am were also escorting the Jewish ambulance service Hatzolah in Los Angeles on Saturday night.

The California National Guard was later deployed in an effort to restore order.