Jewish Couple Attacked Outside Synagogue

A Jewish couple was attacked on their way to a Synagogue in Beverly Hills, California, as antisemitic incidents continue to rise across America. The couple, Rebecca and Raphy, aged 70 and 75, did not want to publish their last names for safety reasons but told reporters that a man approached them shouting, “Give me your earrings, Jew,” before hitting the 75-year-old husband with a belt.

The couple said they were shaken and shocked by the incident but otherwise unharmed. “There was a huge hard knock on my forehead. And all of a sudden, I saw the guy hitting my husband with a belt,” Rebecca told NBC Los Angeles. Despite being hit on the head, Raphy chased away his attacker, and police later arrested and detained 44-year-old Jarris Jay Silagi, who was charged with elder abuse, attempted robbery, and assault with a deadly weapon. If found guilty, Silagi will likely face additional jail time if the court considers the attack a hate crime.

The incident happened only days after a New York man was beaten in front of his home on the first evening of the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah. Joshua Merenfeld, a father of five, was assaulted in the Crown Heights area of Brooklyn by a man calling him a “dirty Jew.” The attacker hit Mr. Merenfeld until he fell to the ground and then proceeded to stomp on him while shouting antisemitic abuse. No arrests were made.

A day before that attack, video footage caught a thief fleeing on a moped, having stolen a $2,500 headpiece from a Hasidic Jew in Brooklyn.

In October, the FBI warned that antisemitism has exploded in the United States since the Hamas terror attack in Israel on October 7. FBI Director Christopher Wray told a Congressional hearing that 60% of religion-based hate crimes were targeted at Jews. “This is a threat that is reaching, in some way, sort of historic levels,” Mr. Wray told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.