Mayor Karen Bass helps kick off Hanukkah in Los Angeles by lighting a menorah at the Pico Robertson Festival

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

Mayor Karen Bass attended the celebrations and helped light the menorah to mark the start of the eight-day holiday. Hundreds of families came to enjoy live music, games, food and a street festival.

But the celebration also had a somber note. A recent report found hate crimes, including anti-Semitic acts, to be on the rise in Los Angeles County.

The newest annual report of the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations found that hate crimes increased 23% in 2021, hitting the highest level in 19 years.

LA city leaders vow to fight anti-Semitism as hate crime rises

The city’s new mayor says this is simply unacceptable.

“I don’t think that kind of hate has a place in this world, but especially in our city,” Bass said.

Rabbi Chaim Cunin of Chabad of California, who helped organize the Pico Robertson Festival, said the event helped spread a positive message.

“Hanukkah teaches us the power of a small candle to transform the world of darkness,” Cunin said. “What could be better than doing this with joy, pride and love – embracing the lights of Hanukkah and spreading its love and light around the world.”

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https://abc7.com/hanukkah-los-angeles-menorah-mayor-karen-bass/12588345/ Mayor Karen Bass helps kick off Hanukkah in Los Angeles by lighting a menorah at the Pico Robertson Festival

Laura Coffey

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