By Lookout Staff
October 31, 2023 -- The City of Santa Monica next month will offer a free virtual training to help bystanders stand up against hate and intolerance, City officials announced this week.
The training -- which comes amid a surge of anti-Semitic hate crimes following the recent Hamas attacks on Israel -- will take place Monday, November 13, as part of United Against Hate Week.
"The training will empower community members to take an active role in standing up against hate and intolerance," City officials said.
The training "will provide attendees with tools to safely intervene when witnessing harassment in public spaces."
Space is limited and registration is required. Click here to RSVP.
The City also will join LA vs Hate in observing United Against Hate Week November 12 to 18, which offers "an opportunity to remember that it is a community-wide effort to foster a safe, inclusive environment for all," City officials said.
Anti-Semitic hate crimes have surged nationwide after Hamas launched a terrorist massacre in Israel on October 7, prompting numerous anti-Jewish rallies on U.S. college campuses, as well as individual attacks against Jews.
In Los Angeles, a man faces hate crime charges after he broke into a Studio City home last Wednesday and threatened to kill the Jewish family who lived there.
In Beverly Hills police are searching for a suspect who spray painted antisemitic graffiti on an apartment building where a Holocaust survivor lives.
Jews are the most frequent targets of religion-based hate crimes in the U.S., according to a recent report from the FBI.
Last year, there were 1,305 offenses committed against Jews, far outnumbering other religion-based targets.
Muslims, who also are experiencing a rise in hate crimes, were the second most frequent target, with 205 offenses committed against them last year.
While Jews were the target of most religion-based hate crimes, Blacks experienced the most hate crimes based on race, ethnicity or ancestry, with 4,210 offenses committed against them last year, according to FBI data.
Santa Monica's training session is being held in partnership with Right To Be, "a people-powered movement working to build a world free of harassment and filled with humanity."
"We all are responsible for doing something when we see street harassment, but we freeze too often. We don't know what to do," event organizers wrote.
"Bystander intervention gives us tools to intervene without compromising our own safety. When we intervene, we don’t just reduce trauma for the person being street harassed. We also start to chip away at the culture that allows harassment to be so prevalent."