Josh RultenbergSep 21, 2017, 5:52 pm

Officials advised to step up security at synagogues as faithful enter High Holy Days

Recent neo-Nazi incidents prompt Anti-Defamation League to issue warning


Jews all over the world will enter their synagogues on Thursday to celebrate the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana. The annual High Holy Days continue with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, on Sept. 30. However, this year some may be more on edge than in previous years.

With recent white supremacist and neo-Nazi rallies in cities across the world, the Anti-Defamation League has taken note and is advising the Jewish community to ensure they have security procedures in place during these days.

Officials say there haven't been any imminent threats anywhere in Westchester County against any Jewish people or their synagogues.

But Kieran O'Leary, a spokesman for the Westchester County Department of Public Safety, said in a statement that security is stepped up on holidays even if there isn’t an immediate threat.

"Westchester County police and municipal police departments always have heightened awareness and added patrols on major religious holidays, including the Jewish holidays, and on major secular holidays…Special attention is paid to houses of worship, major transit hubs and critical infrastructure." O'Leary said.

Police were visible in Larchmont, controlling the streets in front of Larchmont Temple.

Harrison's Bob Frankel is thankful for the security but sad to see the recent demonstrations against Jewish people.

"It's just a shame that we see the hatred that does exist and hopefully through education and future generations, things will be better," Frankel said.

Arthur and Fran Kennish of Mamaroneck believe the attitude of white supremacists coming to light is a direct reflection of our leadership. Arthur says he feels less secure than he did a year ago and Fran thinks things are coming to the surface they need to be addressed.

"It comes from the top too, and I don't want to talk too much about politics, but the leaders should be leading the people to not do this,” Arthur Kennish said.

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