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December 19, 2014     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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December 19, 2014
 

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PAGE 2A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 19, 2014 By Steve Lipman The Jewish Week NEW YORK (The Jewish Week via JTA)--Just three weeks after terrorists killed four worshippers in a Je- rusalem synagogue, a man entered a Brooklyn shul and stabbed a 22-year-old Israeli student. New York police officers fatally shot the 49-year-old assailant, who reportedly shouted "Kill the Jews." At a press conference Tuesday, New York City Po- lice Commissioner William Bratton said there is "no indication" the assailant, identified as Calvin Peters, was connected to a terrorist group. The Tuesday morning attack is being investigated as a hate crime. The stabbing, at the head- quarters of the Chabad- Lubavitch movement in Crown Heights, highlighted the vulnerability of many large yeshivas and syna- gogues, particularly haredi Knife attack at Ct0000Lbad headquarters in New York raises security questions Orthodox ones, which are often open 24 hours a day to accommodate students who end their learning or worship late at night or begin early in the morning. The attack has prompt- ed calls by security officials for an easing of these open- door policies, which can make schools and shuls inviting targets. While no one is suggesting airport- style searches at Jewish buildings, security experts are pointing to the need for more oversight over who comes in. "Our goal is not to turn Jewish institutions into armed camps. Our goal is to ensure that people are trained to respond to a crisis, to be able to identify suspi- cious behavior," said Paul Goldenberg, the national director of Secure Com- munity Network, a national organization that helps co- ordinate security measures for the Jewish community. Within hours of the attack, Custom Print Marketing lrMta  rnents Dil &- Offset Printing Brochures &- Booklets Direct Mail Services Forms  Letterheads Envelops 407-767-7110 205 North Street. Longwood, FL 32750 w,rw.elesoantprintir, net - Mentn ThiAd andfLeive 18% Dismmt  =5' he said, his organization received requests for secu- rity briefings from several schools and synagogues. Rabbi Chaim Landa, a Chabad spokesperson, said "ongoing" discussions are taking place with the New York Police Department. The Lubavitch headquarters building, at 770 Eastern Parkway, houses administra- tive offices, a large sanctuary and a yeshiva that is usually open around the clock. Landa declined to discuss specific security measures or likely changes at the build- ing, but said, "It's something we're going to look at. If it is necessary, it's something we will improve." Goldenberg said repre- sentatives of local Jewish organizations that deal with security matters declined to name other yeshivas or syna- gogues with problematic open-door policies, for fear of identifying possible future targets, but said they will encourage these institutions to strengthen their security measures in the wake of this week's attack. He said the Lubavitch headquarters has "a very, very comprehensive [secu- rity] program," but could not explain how the assail- ant gained access to the building. Because of the building's prominence, NYPD officers are usually stationed near the entrance. Dedicated To Serving Our Jewish Community Call on Central Florida's Exclusively Jewish Funeral Home for Details Regarding: Traditional Jewish Funerals Non-Traditional Services Interstate Shipping Pre-Arranged Funerals (Shalom Assurance Plan) Headstone, Grave Markers (Cardinal Memorials) 407-599-1180 640 Lee Rd. Orlando, Florida W.E. "Manny" Adams, LFD Samuel P. (Sammy) Goldstein, Executive Director The victim, Levi Rosen- blat, from the West Bank settlement of Beitar Ilit, was taken by ambulance to Kings County Hospital. As of Tuesday afternoon, he was in an induced coma because of bleeding in the brain, according to a local news website. At the time of the attack, he was sitting at a table studying, according to Chabad sources. While most major Jewish institutions have strength- ened their security proce- dures in recent decades, as threats to and attacks on Jewish sites in the New York area have increased, some large haredi Orthodox in- stitutions have maintained open-door policies. Golden- berg said he has encouraged Orthodox institutions to in- crease their security profile. Houses of worship and schools, once considered off- limits for attacks, "are now considered soft targets... places of opportunity" by Islamic terrorists, neo-Nazis and others, Goldenberg said. In the aftermath of Israel's campaign against Hamas in Gaza this summer, attacks on American Jewish institu- tions are likely to increase, Goldenberg said. "We have seen the institu- tions become lightning rods for those who want to voice negative opinions about the State of Israel," he said. "The shuls and yeshivos I'm familiar with have at least some security devices (e.g. cameras, alarms) and are locked at night," Rabbi Avi Shafran, a spokesman for Agudath Israel of America, said in an email. "But the nature of such attacks is that they can't really be prevented entirely by any such means. Even during daylight, an intruder bent on violence can walk into a shul or yeshiva no less than into a supermarket or school or church or mosque. And there have been attacks in schools even where there were guards present." Allen Fagin, executive vice president of the Orthodox Union, said his organiza- tion will recommend that Jewish institutions apply for funding from the Depart- ment of Homeland Security Nonprofit Security Grant Program. Evan Bernstein, the Anti- Defamation League's New York regional director, called the attack "a call to action for Jewish institutions across the United States to realize that these kinds of incidents can be prevented" with proper security training. David Pollock, associate executive director of New York's Jewish Commu- nity Relations Council, said, "Our general advice is that no unauthorized person should enter the premises -- there are bad people out there. We've been telling [Jewish institutions]that for years." "We are very grateful to the police for their quick response and are working closely with the authorities in their ongoing investiga- tion," Rabbi Motti Seligson, a Chabad spokesman, said in a statement. "We continue to pray for the young man." To security officials, Chabad attack underscores importance of preparedness By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA)--The stabbing of a rabbinical student at Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters in New York underscores three things that Jewish security officials have been urging in recent years: Be alert for copycats, cooperate with law enforce- ment and don't stay away from shul. American Jewish community officials have been on the lookout for an attack on a synagogue ever since terrorists killed four worshippers and a policeman in Jerusalem last month, said Paul Goldenberg, the director of Secure Communities Network, which coordinates security for Jewish institutions. Goldenberg urged communities to take several steps to address threats to Jewish facilities: Be prepared For several years, SCN has aimed to harden potential Jewish targets by running security seminars throughout the country, including attack simulations that test communal preparedness. At the seminars, Jewish community leaders meet with state and federal law enforcement officials and undergo training sessions that include instruction on how to secure a facility, evacuate a building and identify suspicious activity. Such preparedness measures are credited with minimizing further carnage from an April attack on a Jewish community center in suburban Kansas City, Kan. In that incident, the assailant was discouraged from entering the center because of a locked back door and a front entrance staffed by a guard. Instead he opened fire in the parking lot and at a nearby Jewish home for the elderly, killing three people. Name a police liaison Goldenberg urged communities to name a liaison to the local police force, as is the case in New York, where cooperation between the NYPD and local Jewish groups is close. Deena Saleenfreund, the New Jersey director with Community Security Service, which sends unarmed security volunteers to synagogues in the metropolitan New York area, said alerting police to the first sign of suspicious activity was critical. "The members of a facility know their facility really well, so they have a knowledge that others don't have and are able to notice things before they happen," she said. News reports said a Chabad security guard had turned Peters away earlier in the day. In optimal circumstances, Saleenfreund said, the earlier incident with Peters would have been reported to the police. Get back to normal Goldenberg said attackers consider themselves successful when they lead com- munities to alter their routines, so returning to normal as quickly as possible after an attack is an important component of preparedness. He urged American Jews to resume their normal business this week -- but with heightened awareness. "We want folks to be vigilant in the days ahead," Goldenberg said. J00eaerations applaud Senate passage of No Social Security for Nazis Act WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Late Friday night, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the No Social Security for Nazis Act. The House of Representatives passed the same legislation earlier in the week. "It was a crime in and of itself that Nazis who had carried out heinous crimes against humanity should get benefits at all from the U.S. government," said William Daroff, senior vice president for public policy and director of the Washington office of The Jewish Federations of North America, which led the advocacy efforts for the legislation. "We salute the Senate for joining the House in swiftly and unanimously voting to right a historic wrong, and look forward to President Obama signing the bill into law."