Security stepped up in New York as synagogues close for Shabbat

Schools will also close across the city over fears of antisemtic attacks


NYPD officers stand guard at the door of the Union Temple of Brooklyn on November 2, 2018 in New York City. - New York police were investigating anti-Semitic graffiti found inside a Brooklyn synagogue that forced the cancellation of a political event less than a week after the worst anti-Semitic attack in modern US history. (Photo by KENA BETANCUR / AFP) (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

Local and federal law enforcement in New York will be stepping up patrols this weekend to make sure Jewish residents are “safe during this crisis,” said mayor Eric Adams. 

“We are going to mobilise all of our resources,” the mayor told the New York Jewish community in a virtual briefing yesterday. All police officers have been ordered to report for duty.

This comes after former Hamas leader, Khaled Mashal, called for this Friday to be a global day of “Jihad” in support of Hamas attacks last weekend. He said this would send a “message of rage to Zionists and to America”.

Although NYPD Deputy Commissioner, Rebecca Weiner, told businesses and schools to stay open, emphasising that the increase in security was “out of an abundance of caution,” synagogues across the city have chosen to close. 

NYPD Assistant Chief of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Hart also reassured the Jewish community. “Our message is that we do not have any specific and credible threats in NYC,” he said.

Schools across New York are also increasing security. Rabbi Hillel Lavery-Yisraëli told the New York Post his son’s school is not allowing children to go outside during breaks. 

“Even though they have a totally fenced-in yard, the kids are spending the entire school day indoors,” he said. The school will be closed on Friday, alongside other schools and preschools across the city.

Michael Masters, head of the Secure Community Network, which works to protect Jewish institutions, told Jewish residents to continue to attend synagogue. 

“Yes, we are in an elevated and protracted threatened environment, but we must not let the terrorists take away our confidence or ability to embrace our religion,” he said in a briefing yesterday.

At least 27 American citizens have been killed since the Hamas attacks last Saturday.

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