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Gun-toting rabbi leads push to arm, train Jewish community amid high tensions: video

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A rabbi who trains gun safety in California's Jewish community says gun ownership is soaring as Jews take steps to protect themselves amid the escalating war in Israel. .

“Magen Am's mission is to train and empower communities to deter and respond to security threats. We seek to provide everyone with the tools to empower them to protect themselves. We are here,” Los Angeles-based Rabbi Yossi Eilfort said in a video produced by the group. The NRA was obtained exclusively by Fox News Digital.

Eilfort is an NRA instructor and founder of Magen Am USA, the only Jewish nonprofit licensed to provide armed security services on the West Coast.

Magen Am, which operates in LA and Phoenix, trains volunteers and community members in a wide range of classes in gun safety, hand-to-hand self-defense, de-escalation, verbal tactics, and the use of intermediate weapons such as Tasers and batons. . .

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Rabbi Yossi Eilfort speaks to the NRA about his nonprofit organization, Magen Am. (Nuclear Regulatory Commission)

The video shows several women trained by Eilfort and Magen Am in gun safety, as well as security guards who work with the company to increase protection around Jewish facilities such as schools and synagogues. appears.

“Magen Am means “Shield of the Nation.'' We like to say we're like a shield, but we're 30-30-30, and a third of us are responsible for the security of the organization. “One-third are employed by the professionals in charge, one-third are responsible for community training, and one-third work with government law enforcement agencies,'' said Eilfort, who is also a former MMA fighter. A video explained how Magen Am works.

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On October 7, the terrorist organization Hamas launched an attack on Israel, sparking war in Israel. Palestinian supporters took to the streets in New York, Los Angeles and other cities, sparking protests and anti-Semitic rhetoric across the United States.

“I feel like a target. Explosives were thrown into the synagogue right behind my house,” one Magen Am trained woman said in the video.

magen am training

Magen Am employees train women on gun safety and use. (Nuclear Regulatory Commission)

”[It’s] The fact that these people could be on the side of terrorists is unbelievable,” said another woman.

Eilfort said Magen Am received about 950 calls for security services from the Jewish community in 2022, which jumped to more than 1,200 calls between October and last month.

In comments to Fox News Digital, NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre praised Eilfort and Magen Am for their efforts in training thousands of people in self-defense.

“Rabbi Yossi and Magen Am have always been at the forefront of empowering and protecting their communities, and this work took on added urgency in the wake of the horrific massacre on October 7th. They train thousands of men and women in the community, including first-timers, who sometimes protect gun owners and everything from synagogues to schools.'' LaPierre he said.

“As an NRA instructor, Rabbi Yossi embodies the association's commitment to self-defense and community safety. We are proud to count him as one of NRA's 125,000 dedicated instructors. They are the unsung heroes who help train Americans to protect themselves and their loved ones, and their communities every day,” he added in comments to Fox Digital.

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Fox News Digital also spoke with Beverly Hills Guns owner Russell Stewart. He has known Eilfort for many years and said California Jews are rushing to buy firearms for self-defense amid the ongoing war in Israel and anti-Semitism. Increase the state side.

Magen Am Guard

Magen Am security guards help strengthen the security of Jewish institutions and events. (Nuclear Regulatory Commission)

“Firearm sales are completely off the charts, at least three times what we would normally see at this time of year,” Stewart told Fox News Digital in a phone interview last week. “But what concerns me more…from my humanistic side is hearing people say this is a second Holocaust. “Hearing people say they've never seen anything but Jewish hatred,” they even say. ”

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Stewart and his team talked to each customer individually to find out why they wanted to buy a firearm, but employees were shocked to hear from Jewish customers who feared attack. He explained that he was receiving it.

“You don't even see the gun until you talk to them. You kind of know where their heads are,” Stewart said, explaining how he and his team interact with customers. “And hearing these stories is probably the most gut-wrenching thing, because it's like being a psychologist and hearing hundreds of horrific stories, some of which are still serving in the Israel Defense Forces. This includes families with children who do.

Magen Am training at the shooting range

Magen Am trains the Jewish community in self-defense and provides security services to Jewish facilities. (Nuclear Regulatory Commission)

He said a recent wave of Jewish customers were buying firearms specifically out of “fear.”

“There's a difference between wanting to protect your family by owning a gun and exercising your Second Amendment right. There's a difference between wanting to protect your family by owning a gun and exercising your Second Amendment rights. You're afraid of who you are because you were born into.' It terrifies you,'' Stuart said.

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California has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, and customers in Beverly Hills don't have easy access to shooting ranges, Stewart said, so the closest range is at least 30 minutes away.

Magen Am gun training

California Jewish gun owners at the shooting range with Magen Am. (Nuclear Regulatory Commission)

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“A big part of what I like about Yoshi's work is that he brings training to them. They use a lot of simulator training and just say, 'Think about yourself.' “It's a gun. Dry fire your gun at home. You don't necessarily have to leave the gun unloaded to practice the basics.” And he's a leader in the Jewish community. I am very proud to have known him,” Stuart said.

The women featured in the NRA video emphasized that they are “ready to protect themselves and do what needs to be done” after training with Ailfort.

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“When I went inside, I felt kind of helpless. It was kind of scary,” one woman said. “And at the end of the session, I feel empowered. I feel stronger and I feel better able to protect my family and myself.”

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