PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Police Department has announced that it is increasing their presence at synagogues and houses of worship around the city following Saturday’s shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.
“We are not aware of any current threats to Philadelphia”, officials confirm but are working to secure worship centers in the city. Philadelphia police are asking that if anyone has information on suspicious activities to call 9-1-1.
Eyewitness News spoke with a local Rabbi with the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. She says the community is in a state of shock and grief right now, but in the spirit of the Jewish community, services are continuing.
“One of the most horrifying elements of this incident was that it did happen on our Sabbath at a place of worship, that’s particularly horrifying to all of us as I’m sure to everyone,” said Rabbi Deborah Glanzberg-Kranin.
The Rabbi also sees the shooting as a disturbing trend of hatred in our country. In fact, security had already been a priority for Jewish places of worship in the wake of several anti-Semitic incidents over the past couple of years, including bomb threats and vandalism. At the Adath Synagogue in Lower Merion Township, they often have an armed security guard inside.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney tweeted, “This is not normal. This is not who we are as a nation. And we cannot accept continued violence as a way of life. We stand ready to help Pittsburgh in any way we can.”
The Philadelphia Jewish Community is also planning to hold a vigil for the eleven people who lost their lives and six others hurt. The vigil is set to begin at 8 p.m. at Rittenhouse Square.