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Western New England rabbis take security seriously

Temple Beth El in Springfield
Michael S. Gordon
The Republican
Temple Beth El in Springfield

It could happen anywhere. This time, it was in Fort Worth, Texas, but rabbis and other Jewish leaders in western New England and around the country worry constantly their congregations could become targets.

“My synagogue is like that synagogue, and it's a little place. And unfortunately, it reminded me how vulnerable and fragile we all are these days,”Rabbi Amy Wallk of Temple Beth El in Springfield told And Another Thing.

Security training has become routine for most rabbis.

We train our staff, both our year-round staff and also our summer staff, which are college students. We have really frank, really serious conversations with these young people who are here to serve the community and we ask them to engage in these discussions because we recognize when that moment arises,” said Rabbi James Greene, the director of the Jewish summer camp in Connecticut, “It's a really hard experience, but it's also critical that they have the best possible training. And I know Jewish communities around the country have invested significant resources in both security infrastructure, but also those kinds of trainings that are so valuable in moments of crisis.”

In the year 2020, the Anti-Defamation League recorded more than 2,000 acts of antisemitism in the United States—68 of the in Boston, 25 of them in Worcester, 11 of them in Hartford.

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