Worldwide, the Jewish community mourns after this weekend’s synagogue attack in Poway, California. In Connecticut there has been a call to action.
“We are focusing here on our own community on how to secure our own potential targets,” said Howard Sovronsky, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford.
The California shooting, which occurred on the last day of Passover, left one woman dead and three injured. It also happened six months removed from a Pittsburgh synagogue attack where 11 people died.
“This is something not new to the Jewish community and something that we have to keep vigilant about and not become complacent about,” added Sovronsky.
The Jewish community is not alone. Other faith leaders have also recognized a growing danger at places of worship.
“It’s horrendous to see the amount of carnage, killings, shootings, massacres that are happening that are happening in places of worship,” said Reza Mansoor, president of the Islamic Association of Greater Hartford.
In recent months, worship houses of many faiths have been attacked domestically and abroad. Subsequently, faith leaders have seen a scary shift in society’s view of religion.
“I think we’re becoming a society that instead of freedom of religion it’s becoming freedom from religion,” said Father Nicholas Melo of Wethersfield’s Christ The King Catholic Church.
Taking a proactive approach, Mansoor explains his mosque in Berlin recently engaged in “active shooter” training conducted by the Berlin Police Department.
“We’re ramping up security in mosques,” Mansoor said, “yesterday I was in a synagogue trying to compare notes to what they’re doing to what we’re doing.
Religious leaders are working in alliance to protect their community.
“We’re here as brothers and sisters and we need to work together,” added Father Melo, “Anti-Semitism and religious hatred has no place in our society and in our lives.”