Increased safety measures ordered for Springfield synagogues, Jewish Community Center

Hampden County

Safety procedures were ordered Saturday in Springfield to protect synagogues and the Jewish Community Center following a deadly shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

According to City of Springfield Spokesperson Marian Sullivan, Mayor Domenic Sarno and the Springfield Police Commissioner Barbieri ordered public safety resources to reach out to the buildings.

The communication is in addition to heightened police and security procedures and presence.

The full statement reads: 

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and SPD Commissioner state that due to the tragic shooting incident at a Pittsburgh, PA synagogue, they have ordered public safety resources to reach out to our synagogues and Jewish Community Center in collaboration with heightened police and security procedures and presence. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those individuals and affected families. We must stay ever vigilant and proactive to stop and prevent these types of hideous crimes.

Eleven people died in Saturday’s shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, with numerous others injured.

“Very devastating. It’s just crushing to see people who’ve gone into a synagogue to pray on the Jewish Sabbath and their lives are taken,” Rabbi Jeremy Master told 22News.

Springfield’s mayor and police department have issued heightened public safety procedures to protect the city’s synagogues, including Sinai Temple, located at 1100 Dickinson Street in Springfield.

Rabbi Master told 22News, Springfield police regularly patrol at Siani Temple.

He said, “They have our floor plan. They know if anything were to happen they’d be here quickly to protect us as they did in Pittsburgh.” 

Springfield police told 22News, all synagogues and any places that hold Jewish services will have special attention paid to them by police, and discuss any needed security measures.

“And it makes us all afraid because we know the history of antisemitism,” said Rabbi Master. “We know that even though we’re such a tiny minority in this country, we are the most persecuted religious group year-after-year.”

A 2017 report from the Anti-Defamation League shows that the number of anti-Semitic incidents have gone up 60% since 2016.

Rabbi Master told 22News after bomb threats were made at Springfield’s JCC last year they installed a camera and intercom at the front door to protect the temple’s access as much as possible.

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