Sacramento Synagogues Increase Security after Recent Shooting

Sacramento Synagogues Increase Security after Recent Shooting

Security has been heightened at synagogues in Sacramento following the shooting at a San Diego synagogue Saturday, which left one dead and three injured.

Security has been heightened at synagogues in Sacramento following the shooting at a San Diego synagogue Saturday, which left one dead and three injured.

The synagogue shooting has many people concerned about safety at their houses of worship, but has also resulted in an outpouring of support from the interfaith community, said Rabbi Mona Alfi of Congregation B’nai Israel.

“In the last 24 hours, the number of phone calls, texts and emails that I've gotten from the larger faith community has been very comforting,” Alfi said. “Because it's not just about what happened now, it's about day in and day out, working together to create a better world."

According to KCRA3, a Sacramento police cruiser was parked in front of the Congregation B’nai Israel in Sacramento on Sunday as part of security measures. Parents were also on high alert.

“The community is definitely coming together to make sure we're safer,” said Sarah Soto-Taylor, a parent at the temple. It’s important “that the kids feel safe coming to Sunday school,” she said.

It’s difficult to keep a sense of optimism in the face of recent threats to Jewish institutions such as the Jewish Federation of Sacramento.

“Just two weeks ago, we had to hire private security for a threat that was made to the federation,” said Willie Recht, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Sacramento. “And it's sad that that's normal. My employees, the team, board members have to walk by armed security just to get into our business to do the good work that we do."

Rabbi Mendy Cohen of Chabad of Sacramento said increasing security is just the beginning, as he described the heroic actions taken by his friend Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who was wounded in the synagogue shooting on Saturday.

“He jumped the gun — he held the gun to save his synagogue, lost his fingers,” Cohen said. “And even after his fingers were shot, he didn't realize his fingers, that he lost his fingers, he was busy saving all the little kids — pushing, herding them out quickly before the guy was reloading his gun.”

Cohen said it’s important to strike a balance when boosting security, as it’s important not to frighten congregants.

“We have to take precautions,” Cohen said. “But not to get people scared, because then they've won, God forbid. We have to add in light, add in acts of goodness and kindness, and that pushes away darkness.”

Saturday’s attack took place on the six-month anniversary of the Pittsburgh synagogue attacks, which left 11 worshippers dead and seven others wounded.

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