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New Community Mural in L.A. Celebrates Jewish Culture and Stands Against Antisemitism

A community-led mural has been unveiled in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles, celebrating Jewish culture and standing against antisemitism. The mural, titled "The Common Thread," is the first of several county-wide murals to be unveiled over the next few months as part of the "L.A. vs. Hate: Summer of Solidarity" campaign. The initiative aims to take a public stand against hate crimes and hateful rhetoric, including rising antisemitism, through arts and community events in the five supervisorial districts.

On Sunday, city and county officials joined Jewish community leaders to celebrate L.A.’s diverse Jewish community, and the new mural’s message of unity.
On Sunday, city and county officials joined Jewish community leaders to celebrate L.A.’s diverse Jewish community, and the new mural’s message of unity.

The mural, created by Iranian-Jewish muralist Cloe Hakakian, depicts a mother praying and lighting Shabbat candles, with flames illuminating the "L'dor V'dor" Hebrew script. The woman wears a headscarf with folds showing the diversity of Jewish communities. The veil shows generations of Jewish women wearing different patterns and textiles, representing the Jewish diasporas. There are elements of pomegranates and saffron leaves, the six-pointed Star of David, a desert horizon with footprints as a metaphor for migration and healing, and silhouettes of L.A. landmarks.


Hakakian created the design in less than a month with input from Jewish residents and organizations through a recent community workshop. She said the mural includes themes of Jewish history and tradition, together with the collective memories and experiences of Jews in L.A.


"Public art has a huge role in social change and revolutions, past and present," Hakakian said before the mural's unveiling. "So a mural out in public, where people are driving by, will hopefully reach folks outside this community and encourage them to talk and ask questions. That's a powerful first step in fighting both antisemitism and all hate crimes... and I hope it makes Jews feel seen and know they're not alone."

The "L.A. vs. Hate: Summer of Solidarity" campaign is a joint effort between the L.A. County Human Relations Commission's "L.A. vs. Hate" initiative, the Los Angeles chapter of the Anti-Defamation League, and The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. The initiative comes at a time when antisemitism and hateful messaging are on the rise, with Los Angeles experiencing several antisemitic incidents over the past year, including the separate shootings of two Jewish men in Pico-Robertson, discriminatory flyers found in Beverly Hills, and signs over local freeways that referenced rapper Kanye West's antisemitic rants.

A "vibrant beacon of light and connection to the Jewish community in Los Angeles that we are celebrating."

According to the Anti-Defamation League, there were 3,697 reported antisemitic incidents in the U.S. in 2022, a 36% increase from 2021 and the highest number on record since the organization began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979. The community-led mural in Pico-Robertson aims to spread a message of unity and celebrate L.A.'s diverse Jewish community. L.A. Supervisor Lindsey Horvath oversees the district that includes the Pico-Robertson area and called the neighborhood a "vibrant beacon of light and connection to the Jewish community in Los Angeles that we are celebrating."


The "L.A. vs. Hate" initiative has also created a "Summer of Solidarity" toolkit, a book list, and a confidential hotline (211) where anyone can report hate crimes and incidents as well as receive resources and support. The hotline number will be a part of all the murals' messaging. The initiative hopes to encourage community members to know that they are supported, listened to, and seen for who they are, and one of the best ways to do that is through arts and culture.



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