N.Y. Assemblyman to Haaretz: Synagogues Must Protect Themselves

U.S. Jews on high alert after parcel bombs addressed to Jewish centers; Rabbi of Or Chadash, congregation that was apparently targeted, says his community is 'unduly frightened.'

Leaders of Jewish communities in the United States said Sunday that the discovery of a parcel bomb targeting a Chicago-area synagogue indicates a rising possibility of future attacks of the kind.

Dov Hikind, a New York state assemblyman and prominent member of the Brooklyn Jewish community, told Haaretz that local police had increased their security patrols in religious neighborhoods in light of the plot.

Emmanuel Congregation in Chicago

But he said that the vast numbers of Jewish institutions in the heavily religious neighborhoods made it impossible to ascertain that such an attack could be prevented.

He added that it was no longer a question of if Brooklyn synagogues would be targeted, but when. It seems that the hundreds of local synagogues will in large part have to find ways to protect themselves, he said.

The leaders of the Chicago Jewish said they were notified that the parcel bombs had been addressed to area synagogues before media reports broke about the mail bombs found in Dubai and London.

They were told to increase their security around the synagogues and pay particular attention to mail items, one prominent Jewish community member said.

Media has reported that parcel bomb was addressed to Or Chadash, a gay-and-lesbian synagogue housed on the campus of the Emmanuel Congregation.

Or Chadash Rabbi Larry said his congregation was "unduly frightened."