June 5, 2023
LA vs Hate Partners with Anti-Defamation League and The Jewish Federation to Unveil New Mural Celebrating the Jewish Community in Pico-Robertson
Commissioned During Jewish Heritage Month, the New Mural is Part of LA vs Hate’s “Summer of Solidarity”
LOS ANGELES – A new mural was unveiled in Pico-Robertson honoring the Jewish community, presented by the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations’ initiative LA vs Hate, in partnership with the Los Angeles chapter of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
The mural, titled “The Common Thread,” was designed by Cloe Hakakian, an Iranian-Jewish muralist and native Angeleno, and weaves a vision of Jewish history and tradition together with the collective memories of Jews in Los Angeles.
In 2022 there were 3,697 antisemitic incidents throughout the United States according to a recent report by the ADL, indicating a 36% increase from 2021 and the highest number on record since ADL began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979. Los Angeles saw notable antisemitic incidents occur in the last year, including the separate shootings of two Jewish men in Pico-Robertson, as well as banners over a highway overpass that read “Kanye is right about the jews [sic],” referencing Kanye West’s widely-publicized antisemitic rants that created a ripple of hate acts towards the Jewish community across the country.
The mural unveiling was celebrated with an event at The Mark, with speakers such as LA County Third District Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath, President of the LA County Commission on Human Relations Ilan Davidson, Executive Director of the LA County Commission on Human Relations Robin Toma, LA City District 5 Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky, Regional Director of ADL Los Angeles Jeff Abrams, and President & CEO of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles Rabbi Noah Farkas. They shared remarks on the significance of the Jewish community in Los Angeles and celebrated art’s unique power to unite communities and share experiences across diverse cultures. Following the unveiling and opening remarks, the community enjoyed live performances, food and more.
The mural is part of LA vs Hate: Summer of Solidarity, a summer-long celebration of the County’s cultural and community diversity. The series of events includes monthly art-led and community-centered events in each of the County’s five Supervisorial districts. Through partnerships with community-based organizations, the festivities will uplift and celebrate cultural moments and traditions – all to showcase that unity is stronger than hate. The Summer of Solidarity also seeks to remind residents of the County’s hate reporting system, where anyone can report an act of hate and receive free and confidential support by calling 2-1-1, or by filing a report online at www.LAvsHate.org.
“The vibrant neighborhood of Pico-Robertson is known for being a beacon of light and connection to the Jewish community in Los Angeles that we are celebrating today,” said Supervisor Horvath. “We’re honored to have this talented artist create a piece that articulates a beautiful expression of love, family, and heritage.”
“Public art like this beautiful Jewish community mural has the power to share experiences, create human connections and uplift solidarity within and between communities,” said Robin Toma, Executive Director of the LA County Commission on Human Relations.
“LA vs Hate’s Summer of Solidarity will continue to create art and community-led events to bring people of all walks of life together and to promote dialogue, understanding, and compassion needed to build unity against hate,” added Ilan Davidson, LA County Commission on Human Relations President.
“At a time when we see antisemitism and hateful messaging on the rise, it’s more important now than ever to highlight the experience and contributions of Jews and other marginalized communities in our city,” said Jeffrey I. Abrams, Regional Director of ADL Los Angeles. “We know that exposure to other cultures and experiences can reduce bias and hate and that is exactly what we hope this mural will accomplish.”
“We are proud to help lead this unifying collaboration, which heightens our sense of awareness of the uniqueness of communities across Los Angeles,” said Joanna Mendelson, SVP Community Engagement, Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. ”The Summer of Solidarity initiative provides an opportunity to reflect the diversity of our Jewish community, and provides a moment to capture the cultural, historical, and spiritual influences that embody the Jewish Angeleno experience. We are prioritizing efforts to build bridges with our neighbors across Los Angeles, and recognize art, such as this mural, is a powerful vehicle to unite.”
“The mural depicts a mother lighting Shabbat candles, with their flames illuminating the Hebrew script for L’dor V’dor, from generation to generation,” explained muralist Cloe Hakakian. “The folds of her headscarf become vignettes that celebrate the diversity of Jews within our community and the cultural experiences shared across time and place. There is a young child held in the arms of her mother as older generations stand behind her, each figure wearing a pattern from the diverse cultural diasporas in Los Angeles county. Footprints move through the desert toward a bright horizon, a metaphor for migration, healing, and resilience within the Jewish community. Silhouettes of culturally significant Los Angeles county landmarks sit on the horizon, reminding the viewer of the greater community within which the Jewish community thrives.”
Throughout the Summer of Solidarity, LA vs Hate will continue to commission and reveal new murals celebrating different communities and cultures across the County through partnering with community organizations. The next mural unveiling will take place in South LA in partnership with the Brotherhood Crusade and LA Commons to bring to life a mural that articulates the experience of the black community with its long history battling racism in Los Angeles. During Long Beach Pride, a mural that honors the LGBTQ+ community will be unveiled in Bixby Park, in partnership with the Long Beach LGBT Center, Long Beach Human Relations Commission and Long Beach Parks Department.
About LA vs Hate
LA vs Hate is a community-centered system designed to support all residents of Los Angeles County. Led by the Human Relations Commission, LA vs Hate partners with community partners from all five County districts, representing a diverse coalition of voices committed to ending hate. The system aims to address the normalization of hate and inspire people to stand up to it, build understanding about what constitutes a hate act and how to report it, as well as support individuals and communities as they heal from the trauma of hate and work to end systemic discrimination. By tracking and reporting hate, we can ensure that resources are allocated appropriately, that those targeted by hate receive the support they need, and that together, we can build respectful and resilient communities.