Berkeley yoga instructor fired for helping boyfriend run anti-Semitic website


The same group that circulated ‘COVID agenda is Jewish’ flyers in the Bay Area is linked to a popular Berkeley yoga instructor, and her Jewish boss had to fire her amid growing relationship mess public.

It is well established that there is a strong Covidiot element in the yoga community and that the woo-woo spiritual set has a disproportionate percentage of anti-vaxxers among them. And now we’re learning that it ties into the wave of anti-Semitic flyers that have been popping up in the Bay Area over the last month or so, flyers that claim “every aspect of the COVID agenda is Jewish.” So it’s not entirely unexpected, but still disappointing, that the Jewish News of Northern California broke the news this weekend that the boyfriend of a prominent Berkeley yoga teacher is the co-founder of the group behind these flyers, and she was fired from his teaching positions at Hella Yoga Berkeley and Yoga Hell Petaluma.

She had apparently used the company computers to help her run an anti-Semitic website, and very uncomfortably, the owner of these yoga studios is Jewish himself.

Yoga instructor Kelly Johnson “is no longer associated with Yoga Hell Petaluma or Hella Yoga Berkeley,” according to an email the studios sent to clients last week. “We were devastated to find out that someone so close to us could be so far removed from our values.”

Studios owner Jeff Renfro, who also owns Funky Door Yoga in Berkeley, says he was quite mortified to find out that Johnson’s boyfriend was a leader of the group that distributed the flyers, and also set up a streaming site antisemitic video called Goyim TV. . “I told him I was Jewish, I explained to him that my mother was Jewish,” Renfro told the Jewish News. “It’s something that’s wrong no matter how good friends we are. It trumps our friendship.

A few days later, the Chronicle reached the yoga instructor itself for comments, and received rather vague denials. “I’m really hurt that they’ve gone this far to lie about me and say these things about me that are untrue,” Johnson told the Chronicle. “I’m a very loving person and have relationships and friendships with all kinds of people. It’s really hard to read that. It’s all lies.”

That said, SFGate reports that studio owner Renfro says he found materials on Johnson’s computer that she had helped register Goyim TV as a California LLC, and had kind of taken a deep dive in recent months, once complaining of being “sitting next to two smelly Jews on a plane” .

“Kelly started to withdraw more from us, just emotionally, but wasn’t communicating with us very well,” Renfro told SFGate. “It looked like she was stuck in a world that wasn’t our world.”

Northern California Jewish news has been stubborn reporting on Goyim TV, and the boyfriend in question Jon Minadeo Jr. who co-founded the organization, since flyers started popping up. They have a very useful map of where the antisemitic leaflets were placed throughout the Bay Area, and adds that their efforts have been national.

“Minadeo and the group he leads, the Goyim Defense League, have also engaged in eye-catching propaganda displays, such as hanging a banner saying ‘Fuck the Jews‘ on a highway overpass in Austin, Texas in October, and touring around Florida in a white van in May 2021 covered in swastikas and statements such as ‘Jews are sodomites’,” the site reports.

The Chronicle also reached out to Minadeo himself for comment, and he delivered a masterpiece of self-unconscious contradiction. “Goyim TV aims to unite all races against Jewish supremacy,” Minadeo shamelessly told the Chron.

Related: Congressman QAnon Loon claims 2018 campfire was lit by Jewish space lasers [SFist]

Picture: Hella Yoga

Sherry J. Basler