Brighton, N.Y. (WROC) — Following bomb threats against two local Jewish congregations and a disturbance at Temple B’rith Kodesh in Brighton, more than two dozen sites will adopt enhanced security measures for this weekend’s Yom Kippur services.
Those services begin Sunday and end Monday as the Jewish community celebrates what they consider the holiest day of the year.
“I think the most important message is that we are proud, we are safe, we have wonderful support from the broader community, wonderful support from the faith community and we look forward to coming together and having a really special observance on this holiday,” said Rabbi Peter Stein of Temple B’rith Kodesh.
Last Friday, police say Christopher Avila of Farmington interrupted a Rosh Hashanah service at B’rith Kodesh and has since been charged with a misdemeanor.
That incident combined with the two bomb threats prompted the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester to add security at 25 locations, including B’rith Kodesh.
“You will see at some of our locations that we have contracted with law enforcement and there will be a law enforcement presence for Yom Kippur and Kol Nidre (part of the Yom Kippur service),” said Mark Hendeson, security director for the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester.
Stein expects local synagogues to remain open to the public but stresses the importance of taking these threats seriously.
“Targeting one faith community targets all faith communities,” Stein said. “Targeting one segment of the community, targets the entire community, which is why we really need to demonstrate we’re together, we’re united and we’re supporting one another in hard times and in good times as well.”
Avila is schedule to appear in court Monday morning.