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July 27, 2021 1:40 pm

‘Jerry Maguire’ Child Star Joins Volunteer Group Escorting LA Jews to Synagogues Amid Uptick in Antisemitic Violence


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Jonathan Lipnicki. Photo: Screenshot.

Jewish former actor Jonathan Lipnicki has joined a volunteer group in Los Angeles that helps Jews safely go to and from their synagogues following a slew of antisemitic attacks in the area.

The child star — who is most famous for his roles in “Jerry Maguire,” “Stuart Little” and “The Little Vampire” — helps synagogue goers in the Fairfax District on Fridays and Saturdays. Lipnicki, who became a jiu-jitsu black belt last year, told TMZ on Friday that after learning about attack on Jewish diners outside a sushi restaurant in Los Angeles in May, he and fellow actor and martial artist Remington Franklin decided to take action to prevent future incidences.

“There have been a lot of antisemitic hate crimes and violence towards Jews,” Lipnicki said, adding that Franklin started the group “to make sure people got home and to the synagogue safely … families, women, children, because everybody should have the right to worship without being discriminated against.”

He said, “Remi took it upon himself to organize, and we have a lot of friends. A lot of us are martial artists or own martial arts gyms and not all of us are Jewish. It’s just people wanting to help other people.”

Standing outside a synagogue in the Fairfax District, Franklin told TMZ that people regularly shout “horrible Nazi slurs up and down the street” specifically on Fridays and Saturdays when Jews are heading to temple. Others have tried to run over Jewish children or shoot them with paint balls, a rabbi almost got run over in a nearby parking lot, and similar attacks “consistently keep happening.”

Lipnicki explained, “bullies of any sort or people who promote hatred don’t like when there’s a presence there. And  I think having a presence is a huge deterrent … I think that if you don’t stand against all hate, you don’t stand against any. And you have to stand against all sorts of hatred. It doesn’t matter if it’s your own community or others. I think having the physical deterrent there is really effective.”

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