So far so good – but stay vigilant say the boffins
SA Jewish Report’s non-executive chairman, Howard Feldman, and the president of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, Zev Krengel, in conversation…
The security upgrades over Rosh Hashanah were tangible, and, rather than causing alarm, most in the community were comforted by its presence.
The community came to shul, people did not stay away and as a result of this alone, it was undoubtedly a success.
The CSO along with other community organisations as well as member participation ensured that those in shul were secure and the community owes an enormous amount of gratitude to the CSO as well as to everyone who participated, says Zev Krengel.
“Aside from two minor incidents,” says Zev, “it was business as usual at all shuls.”
The “Level 4” threat – the highest there is without specific information as to timing and target available, remains in place and the community has been asked to continue to be vigilant and focused – but most of all to attend services as they normally would do.
ALSO READ ON THIS WEBSITE (with all the comments):
WHY SA JEWRY FACES HIGHEST SECURITY LEVEL
Last week Zev Krengel told Howard that, “We will be using this platform to communicate any information that is relevant to the situation and we ask the community to refer to this site and specifically this column regularly, as we will update as and when necessary”.
SA Jewry been blessed until now with the luxury of naivety. Sadly the time has now come for us to join others in the Diaspora where heightened community security has been a way of life for so long. Anyone who has driven past a shul recently would have noticed the bollards positioned ahead of the festivals.
When asked what we can all do to assist, Krengel’s message was clear: Vigilance and awareness. Suspicious vehicles, suspicious people and anyone taking photos of installations, needs to be reported immediately. We know our areas, we know who belongs and we need to take advantage of that knowledge.
What can you do?
Vigilance, said Krengel, is one of the most critical aspects of security. But most importantly we need to be at shul and we need to celebrate the Festivals as they are meant to be celebrated. “I will be at shul with my children,” says Krengel. “They are very excited about the chagim as always and I see no reason why this year should be different”. Please keep an eye on this column for updates.
Call the single ICC emergency number from anywhere:
086 18 000 18. Remember it as 086-Chai-thousand-Chai
It needs to be noted that although SAJR welcomes comments, we will not be publishing those that include specific threat information.
Users are encouraged to respond in the comment block below with questions, observations and thoughts. Those that include specific tips will be passed on to the community security authorities who will endeavour to address them privately. Should a common theme emerge, the authorities will try as much as possible to provide guidance and answers. Watch this space…