Thursday, August 03, 2006

Synagogues on the alert

Kim Christian


NORTH Shore synagogues are on alert following an attack on a residence attached to a synagogue in Parramatta and a Jewish youth centre in Bondi this week.

Rabbi David Freedman of Kehillat Masada Synagogue said he was saddened by the Parramatta brick-throwing attack and the attempted arson attack at Bondi.

Security at the Kehillat Masada Synagogue at St Ives remains tight.

``It's shocking and sad someone has stepped over the line,'' Rabbi Freedman said.

Events in the Middle East could sometimes spark a local reaction, he said.

``We're always careful. It's always better to be safe than sorry.''

Rabbi Nochum Schapiro from the Chabad House of the North Shore said security had been increased at the synagogue.

``We have extra vigilance but I'm not prepared to give details to the newspaper,'' Rabbi Schapiro said.

North Shore Police have been asked to increase their presence near Jewish places of worship.

North Shore Temple Emanuel Senior Rabbi Gary Robuck said police were ``well aware of what was at stake''.

Chatswood Police crime manager Insp Gary Jubelin said police were aware of potential problems but had not dealt with any specific threats.

``We're mindful of any potential threats and we're taking the appropriate action,'' Insp Jubelin said.

On June 10 this year three youths blew up the intercom at the front entrance to North Shore Temple Emanuel in Chatswood.

On Australia Day, January 26, 1991 the temple was subjected to a malicious damage attack which destroyed part of the kindergarten and office.

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