San Diego

San Diego’s Jewish Community Spreads Message of Unity and Non-Violence

Religious and human rights’ groups came together in San Diego Tuesday night for a rally against hate and extremism after the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and President Donald Trump's remarks regarding the protests and riots.

Their message was clear: become united and share hope, instead of hate.

A standing ovation was given to Holocaust survivors in the crowd at the gathering at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla. The group took a stand against the white nationalists at the root of the violence in Virginia.

"Sometimes, it’s the extremes that get the microphones. There's really a silent majority in this country that believes in the core values of tolerance, democracy, and equal access for all," said Charlene Seidle, Executive Vice President of the Leichtag Foundation.

Ralph Crevoshay is not Jewish but still made a point to support fellow community members in the fight against Neo-Nazis and other hate groups.

"They have overlaid a foreign ideology into an agenda of hatred that's not American," he said.

Some locals told NBC 7 the protests, fights, and damage to property are going too far.

A Confederate statue was pulled down and destroyed while many were counter-protesting a white nationalist rally in Durham, North Carolina.

"I think there's a way to protest, there's a right way to do it and then a way that takes it just a little too far. I don't think violence is necessary, I don't think the destruction of any kind is necessary," said community member Sarah Schwendinger.

Many in the Jewish community said Confederate symbols bring great pain to those directly impacted, and this needs to end.

"We need to bring people that feel that pain back into our community, unify our country and move forward," said Seidle.

Congressman Scott Peters (D-52nd Dist.) spoke at the event as well as Rabbis from the community.

They told NBC 7 they'll continue to hold events like these and they will always be focused on a message of hope and non-violence.

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