Synagogues to get security boost for Rosh Hashanah

Synagogues to get security boost for Rosh Hashanah

A policeman on duty in central London.
A policeman on duty in central London.
2 police policeman 511438411 copy
Extra police will be present outside synagogues during Rosh Hashanah

Synagogues across the country will receive extra police protection during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, security chiefs have revealed.

In a move to reassure British Jews worried about increased anti-Semitism in recent months, there will be more police based outside shuls than in previous years over the High Holy Day period.

Community Security Trust (CST) director Mark Gardner said: “A full security operation will be in place during the festivals and, although I can’t put a figure on how many police will be patrolling, there will be a significant increase.”

Extra measures include shatterproof glass at synagogues and adequate fencing around building perimeters, as the fallout from Gaza rumbles on.

“This is because of the threats we saw this summer and because the Home Office increased the general UK threat level to ‘severe,’” he said.

“We hope our community can conduct its life to the full over these chagim.” A spokeswoman for the Union of Jewish Students confirmed that security had been beefed up on campus, with extra student training for volunteers.

Community patrol group Shomrim revealed it was taking the unusual step of holding a meeting of representatives in Stamford Hill on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Counter- Terrorism Bureau of the Israeli National Security Council issued a specific threat warning to Jews and Israelis travelling in western Europe between 24 September and 17 October.

“There is an increasing potential threat as a result of Operation Protective Edge,” said the Israeli Prime Minister’s spokesman.

There have been several demonstrations at Israeli embassies and consulates around the world and an increase in anti-Semitic incidents.

“These trends are likely to continue during the holiday period,” he said.

“There is concern over additional attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets around the world, especially in Western Europe, by global jihad elements, specifically by fighters returning home from Syria and Iraq.”

French authorities say Mehdi Nemmouche, the man believed to have killed four people at the Jewish museum in Brussels in May, fought alongside Islamist terrorists in Syria in 2013 before later returning to the EU.

Security analysts now say that ‘soft’ targets, such as tourists, and Jewish ‘symbols’ such as rabbis, community leaders and Chabad houses, are most at risk.

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