Local Churches and Synagogues Discuss Security Measures Following Pittsburgh Attack
Here in Reno, one local synagogue has dealt with acts of vandalism and hate speech recently. These types of crimes, along with shootings like the one in Pittsburgh, have forced congregations to implement security measures over the years.
Here in Reno, one local synagogue has dealt with acts of vandalism and hate speech recently.
These types of crimes, along with shootings like the one in Pittsburgh, have forced congregations to implement security measures over the years.
“We have armed people in the congregation,” says Rabbi Mark Fasman. “And we have had that for quite some time now."
Just a few weeks ago, anti-Semitic fliers were plastered to the exterior of Temple Emanu-El. In its place, is now a poster that reads, “the whole world is a narrow bridge, the key is not to be afraid."
The message is meant to lift the spirits of the congregation, since this Jewish synagogue has been the victim of hate crimes in the past.
In the late 90s, a firebomb was thrown at the building's door. Then over the years, they've dealt with several cases of vandalism on the walls.
“To the extent that they represent a larger movement, is very much concerning to us,” says Rabbi Fasman.
On days of worship, a security committee is in place to monitor potential threats at Temple Emanu-El. Specifically, threats similar to the deadly shooting in Pittsburgh that killed 11. Other synagogues and even Christian churches around Reno also have security in place, but their efforts may often go unnoticed.
“Most of them are ex-police officers or active duty police officers,” says Pastor Steve Bond with Summit Christian Church. “Nobody knows who they are other than them, but we've been concerned for a long time.”
Local faith based leaders are certainly on edge in light of the events in Pittsburgh, but pastors and rabbis alike say with continued support and love from the community, they'll continue to fight against the violence of our world.
“Our ethics are the same, compassion, justice, the right to free practice of religion, says Rabbi Elizabeth Beyer of Temple Beth Or. “We live in a democracy and we hope that everyone has those same values and share those values with all."
Tuesday night at 5:30, the community is invited to a vigil that will be held at temple Emanu-El to honor and remember the lives lost this weekend in Pittsburgh.