Security Jewish Holidays

Anti-Semitism is at its peak

This year, the Jewish High Holidays are like none that have been before. The holidays, featuring Rosh Hashanah last Wednesday, Yom Kippur, to Simchat Torah on October 13th, happen at a time when anti-Semitism is at its peak. The Jewish people are taking precautions to safeguard their people as they meet to celebrate their Holidays knowing that their congregation at one place could easily make them a target.

Last month, at the University of Virginia and Charlottesville, neo-Nazis and white supremacists gathered to openly portray their anti-Semitic views. The people were heard chanting “Jews will not replace us” as well as the Nazi slogan “blood and soil” as a message to the Jews. Moreover, the hashtag #GasTheSynagogue started trending on Twitter creating the illusion of a holocaust.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released its annual 'Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents' in April this year. The review showed a sharp increase in anti-Semitism peaking at an 86 percent increase in the first quarter of 2017 when compared to earlier years. This year has seen a series of events including bomb threats on Synagogues and vandalism in Jewish cemeteries. The projection made from the report is that if these developments continue at the same rate, they shall surpass 2,000 the end of the year, the highest amount recorded yet.

Due to the growing security concerns, the ADL has prompted all Synagogues to prepare adequately in case of an attack. They are encouraging people to hire private security or off-duty officers to help maintain order and peace during the celebrations. More suggestions included screening everyone as they entered the facilities and establishing perimeters around the synagogues.

Despite the ongoing threats on the lives of the Jewish people, the URJ's Asin urged the community to remember their primary objectives during the Holidays saying, “we’re all walking into this High Holy Day season as a moment of spiritual renewal, of community, of connection.”

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