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Following Texas hostage episode, LA authorities reaffirm synagogue safety

<i>KCAL KCBS</i><br/>The news conference at Temple Emanuel in Beverly Hills was put on by the FBI
KCAL KCBS
KCAL KCBS
The news conference at Temple Emanuel in Beverly Hills was put on by the FBI

By KCAL/KCBS Staff

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    BEVERLY HILLS (KCAL, KCBS) — After last weekend’s hostage standoff at a synagogue in Texas, local and federal authorities held a news conference Friday morning in Los Angeles to address safety concerns for local synagogues.

The news conference at Temple Emanuel in Beverly Hills was put on by the FBI, Los Angeles Police Department, the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Federation of Greater L.A.

On Saturday, a British man took four people hostage at a synagogue in Coleyville, TX. The standoff lasted 11 hours before the hostages escaped. The suspect was shot and killed.

Amid an increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes, officials Friday called on state and federal politicians to triple non-profit security grants to ensure that synagogues can boost security.

“Jews only make up about 2% of the U.S. population, we’re a very small people…And yet, Jews are the victims of nearly 60% of hate crimes in this country,” said Rabbi Noah Farkas, Jewish Federation president.

Last month, dozens of residents in Beverly Hills and Pasadena found fliers containing anti-Semitic propaganda in their front yards.

In September, a man who witnesses say was yelling anti-Semitic threats to dozens of people at a Fairfax District synagogue allegedly tried to drive his car into the crowd.

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