Community leaders in Southgate have moved to reassure the public after a window of the Cockfosters & N. Southgate Synagogue (CNSS) was smashed by a brick last week.
Local MP and member of the Anti-Semitism All Party Parliamentary Group David Burrowes emphatically condemned the incident, saying he was “appalled” by the “hateful” attack at the US shul.
“The only explanation is that it was sadly an anti-Semitic attack fomented by anti-Israel criticisms. I utterly condemn the attack and hope the police will bring to justice whoever was responsible.
“Our society thrives on its freedoms which include freedom of speech and religion…The increasing number of anti-Semitic attacks since the Gaza crisis highlights that criticism of Israel can be used as a pretext for anti-Semitism.
“My constituents are used to living peacefully alongside neighbours from all backgrounds and creeds. This nasty attack, and the hateful anti-semitism behind it, has no place in Enfield Southgate or the nation.”
The Metropolitan Police and the CST were immediately informed after the incident, which is believed to have taken place on the night of Wednesday August 13th. Police are now examining the synagogue’s CCTV footage to assist in their investigations.
Rosalind Goulden, Chair of the Synagogue, said that heightened security measures will now be taken at the synagogue to ensure that members feel safe.
“This type of behaviour goes against British values proudly upheld by the Jewish community. We are proud of the contribution made by our members to the enhancement of civic life in the Enfield area over generations.
“I am immensely appreciative of the prompt and comprehensive response by the local Enfield police to this incident.”
Rabbi Daniel Epstein added, “I am saddened that this incident has upset members of our synagogue. CNSS continues to be a vibrant centre for the spiritual, social and educational needs of our broad membership and will continue to be so.”
Cabinet minister and Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers said she stands “in solidarity with my Jewish constituents and everyone who has been a victim of hate crime”.
“ I totally condemn these attacks. I am particularly appalled by the attack on Cockfosters and North Southgate Synagogue which falls just outside my constituency. It’s equally worrying that the synagogue in Belfast has suffered in the same way.”
“Over recent days I have spoken to a number of my constituents about their fears and concerns about the current situation, including the chair of Barnet Synagogue who told me of a heated meeting held at the shul to discuss this issue. I have also received a detailed update from the police on the action they are taking and their plans for keeping people safe in Barnet during the forthcoming high holy days. I am also grateful to the Community Security Trust for keeping me informed on these very worrying developments.”