Letters to the editor: August 10, 2016

Armed security at synagogues

Over the past few years Jews and Jewish institutions around the world have been the target of violence as manifested by anti-Semitic terrorist and criminal activity.

Shootings and terrorist bombs have resulted in a plethora of Jewish deaths and casualties. Although fortunately, the St. Louis Jewish community has not experienced such horrific events, it doesn’t mean they can never happen, or won’t ever happen here. We Jews can’t afford to be complacent, as anti-Semitism never takes a holiday, and will always continue to flourish ad nauseam. 

In light of such a potential threat, I’m calling on the powers that be in the Jewish community—both lay and religious leaders—to mandate that all temples and synagogues in the St. Louis area hire armed security personnel to protect against any possible attacks, and that this protection be put in place during all hours of operation.

As a former member of an Orthodox synagogue, I can personally attest to the apprehension I felt every minute I was there, knowing that the possibility of violence could erupt in a split second. No doubt, with armed security, such a scenario would be less likely to occur, and if by chance it did, the number of deaths and injuries could be potentially mitigated.

Beth Shalom Cemetery ad

It’s time that St. Louis area temples and synagogues become proactive in matters relating to security. I strongly suggest that armed guards be put in place immediately. We Jews should always heed and remember the lesson we learned from the Holocaust and apply it in peacetime as well as in war: “Never Again.”

Gene Carton