A man was arrested on multiple charges including a hate crime after allegedly striking a Jewish man on his way to synagogue in the Los Angeles enclave of Beverly Hills on Saturday.
The man, Jarris Silagi, 44, allegedly hit Raphael Nissel, 75, on the head and said, “Jew, give me your jewelry,” according to a report on the incident published by the Los Angeles Times. Nissel was treated for a laceration at the scene and continued on to his Orthodox synagogue, where he read Torah as planned, according to the report and a tweet by his rabbi, Pini Dunner.
Silagi was previously convicted of robbery in Beverly Hills and also has a record of psychiatric issues, according to records from previous cases against him.
The incident comes amid a surge in reported antisemitic incidents in the US and around the world fueled by Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza following the terror group’s devastating October 7 onslaught, in which 1,200 people were slaughtered in Israel and some 240 taken hostage.
A number of high-profile incidents have taken place in the Los Angeles area, including a home invasion by a man who allegedly shouted antisemitic comments and the death of a pro-Israel protester who was struck at a rally. A man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in that case.
“This is appalling. Antisemitism has no place in this state,” California Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted in response to a picture of a bloody shirt posted by Nissel’s son, Alan.
Newsom added, “Alan, our hearts goes out to your family tonight. Glad to hear the person responsible for this is in custody. They must be held to full account.”
Here is #antisemitism vignette you won’t read about in papers. Yesterday, on way to shul, my father (75) and mother (70) were attacked. After being struck from behind on head by belt and called out as Jew, my father recomposed himself and successfully chased down perp with help… pic.twitter.com/p8ibGwpdxp
— Alan Tzvika Nissel (@atnissel) December 10, 2023
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.