Nonprofit aims to help Jewish community feel safer through self-defense classes

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A nonprofit is working to help community members feel more secure in their environment by providing self-defense classes.

Legion is an organization that aims to help Jewish New Yorkers and others feel safer in the streets. Those involved in the program say it's especially important given the rise in hate crimes in the city, including Brooklyn.

Ortal Kindell says she was a victim of a hate crime and is taking advantage of the classes.

"I turned around to one of my bags, I got punched in the face," she said. "My head slammed against my car. He choked me and I was thinking this was the end of my life."

Two years later, her fear is all but gone after taking classes with Legion.

Legion has six locations in New York City, as well as Long Island and Connecticut. The Brooklyn location meets at Brooklyn MMA in Flatlands.

Brooklyn MMA owner Terry Gold, who is Jewish, says it's instrumental for Jewish people to know how to defend themselves so they can prevent themselves and others from being targets of violent attacks.

The program features training in physical combat, situational awareness and active shooter situations.

Those who wish to join the program have to go through a rigorous vetting process because they only want the skills to be used for good.

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