Rabbi Sasson Natan, rabbi at Keter Torah Synagogue on Orchard Lake and Walnut Lake roads in West Bloomfield Township, has reluctantly locked the doors of the house of worship as the Jewish celebration of Passover begins.
The extra vigilance is a result of a deadly shooting at a Kansas City suburb by a man described as a well-known white supremacist, WDIV, Channel 4, is reporting. The Justice
Department is considering hate charges, the Detroit Free Press said.
Doors at the synagogue in West Bloomfield are normally open for the seder, the ceremonial feast held on the first two nights of Passover, but not Monday night
“There’s no other way,” Natan said. “Right now, we’ve got to be cautious. We have two options, to leave the door closed or hire a guard.
Natan also asked the West Bloomfield Police Department to conduct periodic sweeps of the temple’s parking lot, The Oakland Press reports. West Bloomfield is home to a large Jewish community, with several synagogues.
“What we need to do is notify police that there is some action in the synagogue ... so there is some patrol, just to show themselves, so if anybody has something in mind, at least there will something to push them away,” he said.
Natan, who grew up in Jerusalem and served in the Israeli Army and has served as a rabbi in Houston, TX and Chicago. He said experience, especially in Europe, have taught him that Jews have to be on alert for a possible domino effect at this time of year.“It happened already in our history,” he told The Oakland Press reporter. “It’s known already that every Passover, it’s rising: The hatred and anti-Semitism is growing at this time of year. I learned to live with it, unfortunately, but you’ve got to be cautious.”