New York City synagogues under tight security ahead of Jewish High Holy Days

Michelle Charlesworth Image
Wednesday, September 21, 2022
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Synagogues will be under tight security with the approach of Jewish Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Michelle Charlesworth has the story.

LOWER MANHATTAN, New York (WABC) -- Synagogues will be under tight security in New York City with the approach of the Jewish High Holy Days Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur as the city grapples with a rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes.

"You will see increased security at synagogues for the High Holy Days but also during events, and there will be increased security that you don't see," NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.

At a briefing at police headquarters, Commissioner Sewell said, while regrettably hate crimes are up, there seems to be no credible threat.

Also NYPD intelligence went over nationwide coordinated police efforts to identify any threats or propaganda on social media.

Additionally, the head of the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force said hate crimes are up 45% this year and lamented that his own synagogue was targeted by a hate filled arsonist on May 19.

"My own synagogue, where my family has celebrated Shabbat and gone to services, was targeted by someone who set it on fire," Deputy Inspector Andrew Arias said.

That fire set was just one of many incidents targeting Jewish New Yorkers this year.

Earlier in April, a group went after a Hasidic man in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where there was also an unprovoked attack of another man, using a fire extinguisher, followed by a punch to the face in August.

"Anti-Semitic crimes and overall hate crimes are up citywide in 2022," Sewell said. "We are obviously concerned, but the situation strengthens our resolve to combat all forms of bias and hate."

ALSO READ | New York City lifting COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private sector

A pharmacist prepares a syringe with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination site at NYC Health + Hospitals Metropolitan, Feb. 18, 2021, in New York.
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

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