Security for Jewish institutions in the UK and France has been stepped up following Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris.
A Community Security Trust spokesperson sought to reassure people that it is “in close contact with police and government to discuss the implications of the attack for UK Jewish security”.
Following a series of attacks in Paris which killed 129, they said there is “no specific intelligence concerning potential attacks here in the UK.” It continues: “Overseas terrorism can perversely ‘inspire’ others to copy their example here in Britain”.
“In view of this overall situation, CST increased its guarding levels at synagogues this Shabbat and we will continue to review our security in the coming days.
We ask that all communal venues, organisations and events ensure existing security procedures are rigorously enforced, and we ask everybody attending communal buildings and events to follow the instructions of the security officers present.”
Other community organisations reacted to the attacks, with the Board of Deputies of British Jews saying: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone caught up in the horrific terrorist murders perpetrated in Paris.
Security stepped up at Jewish venues in Paris
Meanwhile, French security forces gave the approval for a prayer rally which was held in the Grand Synagogue of Paris on Sunday by the local Jewish community, following an appeal from the Chief Rabbi of France Haïm Korsia, vice president of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER).
Europe’s rabbis expressed their “deep shock” Saturday evening “in light of the terrible massacre committed against citizens of all religions on Friday night.”
Rabbi Korsia and Rabbi Moshe Levin, CER’s executive director and rabbi of the French National Gendarmerie, said they had spoken to French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and received a promise “to significantly boost security around and within the country’s Jewish institutions.”
This is war,” they said. “There are still terrorists walking around freely, and the security forces have instructed Paris’ citizens to remain in their homes and only go out on urgent cases. Rabbi Bahya says, ‘When there is darkness we must turn up the light.’ We have asked to let us hold a Malveh Malka (a meal eaten at the conclusion of Shabbat), which was planned in one of the Jewish centers in the Paris suburbs.”
Rabbi Menachem Margolin, director of the Rabbinical Center of Europe (RCE), said there was a lot of concern and that the RCE headquarters were in Brussels, where three of the terrorists came from.
“This escalation particularly calls for reinforcing the security measures in the Jewish communities in Europe,” he said. “Unfortunately, the Jews are always a preferred target. We plan to hold an emergency meeting as soon as possible to discuss the situation.”