As Israel’s battle rages, a gun-toting rabbi leads a movement to ‘train and empower’ the community: ‘Ready to protect ourselves’

“Magen Am’s core mission is to equip and empower individuals within the community to effectively counter and address security threats. Our aim is to provide everyone with the necessary tools and knowledge to protect themselves,” explained Rabbi Yossi Eilfort in an exclusive video obtained by Fox News Digital. Based in Los Angeles, Magen Am is dedicated to ensuring that individuals feel empowered and prepared to safeguard their own safety.”

Eilfort, a skilled NRA instructor and the founder of Magen Am USA, stands as the sole Jewish nonprofit organization on the West Coast that holds a license to offer armed security services.

Magen Am, a company operating in LA and Phoenix, provides comprehensive training to volunteers and community members. Their classes cover various aspects of personal safety, including gun safety, hand-to-hand self-defense, de-escalation techniques, verbal tactics, and the use of intermediate weapons like Tasers or batons.

In the video, Eilfort and Magen Am showcase their training of several women on gun safety. They also highlight the collaboration with security personnel who help enhance the protection of Jewish institutions like schools and synagogues.

“Magen Am, which translates to ‘nation’s shield,’ operates like a shield, as I like to say. Our organization is divided into three parts: one-third consists of hired professionals who handle institutional security, another third focuses on community training, and the final third collaborates with government law enforcement,” explained Eilfort, who is not only a former MMA fighter but also a key member of Magen Am, in a video describing the organization’s functioning.

War erupted in Israel on October 7th when the terrorist group Hamas initiated attacks on the nation. This ignited protests and a surge of antisemitic rhetoric within the United States, as supporters of Palestine demonstrated in various cities, including New York and Los Angeles.

“I can’t help but feel like a target. Recently, explosives were thrown at the synagogue located right behind my house,” shared a woman who had undergone training by Magen Am, as captured in the video.

Another woman expressed her disbelief at the fact that these individuals could actually support terrorists.

In 2022, Eilfort revealed that Magen Am received approximately 950 requests for security services from the Jewish community. However, this number skyrocketed to over 1,200 calls between October and the previous month.

In a comment to Fox News Digital, Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president and CEO of the NRA, praised Eilfort and Magen Am for their commendable work in training thousands of individuals in the art of self-defense.

According to LaPierre, Rabbi Yossi and Magen Am have always been actively involved in empowering and safeguarding their community. This dedication became even more crucial following the tragic massacre on October 7. LaPierre commended their efforts in training numerous individuals, including first-time gun owners, within their community. Additionally, he acknowledged their role in protecting various establishments such as synagogues and schools.

Rabbi Yossi, an NRA instructor, exemplifies the Association’s dedication to self-defense and community safety. The NRA proudly acknowledges him as one of their 125,000 devoted instructors – the unsung heroes responsible for training Americans to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities on a daily basis,” he expressed in response to Fox Digital.

Stuart and his team personally engage in conversations with every customer who visits their store to understand their motivations for buying a firearm. These interactions have brought to light the alarming stories shared by Jewish clients who express their fear of potential attacks.

Stuart and his team have a unique approach when it comes to interacting with clients. According to him, they don’t even introduce the topic of guns until they have had a thorough discussion and gained insight into the client’s mindset. Stuart compared this process to that of a psychologist, as they have heard countless gut-wrenching stories from individuals, some of whom have family members serving in the IDF.

According to him, his recent surge in Jewish customers has revealed that they are purchasing firearms out of a sense of fear.

According to Stuart, there is a distinction between owning a gun as a means to protect one’s family and exercising one’s Second Amendment rights, and owning a gun out of fear based on one’s religious, geographical, or ideological background. He believes that the latter is driven by a sense of fear and insecurity.

California has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, making it challenging for customers in Beverly Hills to access shooting ranges. According to Stuart, the nearest range is located at least 30 minutes away.

Stuart expressed his admiration for Yossi’s approach, highlighting the significant impact it has in the community. He commended Yossi for bringing training directly to people and emphasized the use of simulator training as an effective tool. Stuart mentioned the importance of practicing fundamental skills by simply thinking about the gun and engaging in dry fire exercises at home, without the need for live ammunition. He acknowledged Yossi as a leader in this aspect within the Jewish community and expressed his pride in knowing him.

The women showcased in the NRA video emphasized that thanks to Eilfort’s training, they feel prepared to defend themselves and take necessary action.

“I entered the session feeling a sense of powerlessness and fear,” one woman expressed. “But by the end, I felt empowered and stronger, knowing that I can better protect my family and myself.”

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