Mayor Karen Bass helps kick off start of Hanukkah at Los Angeles festival

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Monday, December 19, 2022
SoCal marks start of Hanukkah with festivities, menorah lighting
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass helped kick off the start of Hanukkah with the lighting of a menorah at a street festival in the Pico-Robertson district.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- As the first night of Hanukkah began Sunday, the Jewish community celebrated throughout Southern California, including holding a big street festival in the Pico-Robertson district.

Mayor Karen Bass attended the festivities, helping light the menorah to mark the start of the eight-day holiday. Hundreds of families attended to enjoy live music, games, food and a street fair.

But the celebration also came with a somber note. A recent report noted that hate crimes, including antisemitic acts, are on the rise in Los Angeles County.

The latest annual report from the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations found that in 2021, hate crimes grew by 23%, to hit their highest level in 19 years.

LA city leaders vow to combat antisemitism as hate crimes rise

As the first night of Hanukkah approaches, Los Angeles city leaders are speaking out against antisemitism as recent reports show an increase in hate crimes across the county.

The city's new mayor says that is simply unacceptable.

"I believe that that type of hatred - there is no place for it in this world, but especially in our city," Bass said.

Rabbi Chaim Cunin with Chabad of California, which helped organize the Pico-Robertson festival, said the event helps spread a positive message.

"Hanukkah teaches us the power of one little candle to transform the world of darkness," Cunin said. "What better way than to do that here joyously, proudly, lovingly - to embrace the lights of Hanukkah and to spread its love and light throughout the world."