California Firefighter Sues Over Anti-Semitic Harassment

(JTA) — A former volunteer firefighter from Southern California is suing his former department alleging anti-Semitism and harassment.

Jared Hartstein, 27, of Irvine, worked for the volunteer fire department in La Habra Heights from June 2015 until he resigned on Dec. 21 that year.

Hartstein alleged in interviews with the local media that senior firefighters made the Nazi salute in front of him and drew a swastika on his notebook. He said his co-workers also made fun of his sexuality — Hartstein is not homosexual — and the attacks left him with post traumatic stress disorder for which he sees a psychiatrist. Hartstein also said he was once physically assaulted.

The La Habra Heights city manager, Tom Robins, told the Whittier Daily News that an independent investigation was completed in response to the allegations and that they did not hold up under the inquiry.

Hartstein also alleged that his co-workers mocked him for being Jewish and nicknamed him “the Bear Jew,” his safety gear was tampered with and he was forced to complete drills he had already passed.

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

California Firefighter Sues Over Anti-Semitic Harassment

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close