Syracuse's Jewish community reacts to Kansas shootings
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 18:11:44 GMT —
Jewish communities prepare for Passover today, many with heavy hearts and caution.
The executive director of the Syracuse Jewish Community Center says their hearts go out to the victims in Kansas. Marci Erlebacher also said security at the JCC will be increased at least temporarily.
"We are taking precautions" said Erlebacher.
Erlebacher says she's not revealing specific details of the added security but says the JCC staff had had special training just within the past year for situations similar to what happened near Kansas City.
The Jewish holiday Passover begins at sundown. it is a celebration of freedom but Rabbi Daniel Fellman from Temple Concorde in Syracuse said the shootings yesterday near Kansas City are a frightening reminder of the opposition they still face.
Rabbi Fellman grew up in Omaha and regularly visited the Overland Park Kansas JCC as a teenager.
"That building is a place where people come to interact with each other. To make humanity better, to make life better," said Fellman.
Security at Temple Concord has also been increased. Rabbi Fellman says that while most people are more accepting than ever, even churches need to protect against those driven by anti-Semitism and hate.
"We try to do it in as inconspicuous way as possible but on the other hand on days like this we want it to be public so people can feel safe walking into the building," said Fellman.
Rabbi Fellman said he wished temples and churches would not need security.
"These are buildings that shouldn't need security, these are buildings that should be intuitively safe, just as a school should be. But that's not our world today," said Fellman.
A 73-year-old Missouri man is accused of killing three people in attacks at a Jewish Community Center and a Jewish retirement complex on Sunday.
Federal prosecutors say there is enough evidence to warrant bringing a hate-crime case against Frazier Glenn Cross. The terror-monitoring group SITE describes the suspect as a vocal anti-Semite who frequently calls for genocide against Jews.