Los Angeles
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Former child star and martial arts enthusiast Jonathan Lipnicki is volunteering with a group escorting Jews to and from Los Angeles synagogues in the wake of a series of anti-Semitic attacks in the city in the last several months.

The Jewish former actor, who shot to fame for his role in “Jerry Maguire” and who last year received his black belt in jiu-jitsu, walks with Orthodox Jews to synagogue on Fridays and Saturdays in Los Angeles’s Fairfax District.

Lipnicki told TMZ that after hearing about Jews being attacked outside a Los Angeles sushi restaurant in May, he and actor and fellow martial arts expert Remington Franklin decided to take it upon themselves to protect Jews from future attacks.

“There have been a lot of anti-Semitic hate crimes and violence towards Jews,” said Lipnicki who is also known to be proficient in MMA fighting techniques.

He said 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 added, “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.”

Lipnicki, who has been involved in jiu-jitsu for 14 years and fights competitively, said that their presence is a deterrent to anti-Semites who are seeking to harass Jews.

“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, he said. “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.”

Franklin described the group of helpers: “It’s jiu-jitsu, it’s boxing, it’s mixed martial arts, and it’s people that are just friends with them and want to do something. We have ladies who are former dancers and gymnasts who are walking with people because it makes the women feel more comfortable,” reported the Popculture website.

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