UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Friday worship went on as usual on the Upper East Side at the largest synagogue in the city.
With Mayor Eric Adams on hand, Temple Emanu-El held Shabbat services under the watchful eye of the NYPD and with a singular focus on events in Israel.
"Something is wrong with that in the city of New York, where we have the largest Jewish population outside of Israel," said Mayor Adams. "If you don't feel safe here, where else can you feel safe? We have to change that course."
The service focused on a distant part of the world, where a tragedy is still unfolding.
"Unfortunately, although there's masses of support, there's also unleashing of anti-Semitism," said Shelly Freeman, member of Temple Emanu-El.
With Hamas leaders calling for a global day of outrage, some wondered whether services at the city's largest synagogue should be canceled for the night. However, as Rabbi Joshua Davidson told Eyewitness News on Friday, that was never really a question.
"If hundreds of thousands of Israelis can mobilize and place themselves in harm's way to defend our people, we can come to temple to pray for them," said Rabbi Davidson.
With Mayor Adams and Lt. Gov. Anthony Delgado bringing the message that during a time of global unrest, they're focused on security at home.
"I was incredibly proud of our city and our leadership," said David Hennes of Temple Emanu-El.