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Denver Jewish community reacts to California synagogue shooting

Posted at 11:25 AM, Apr 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-29 13:25:37-04

DENVER — After a deadly shooting at a California synagogue Saturday morning, Temple Emanuel in Denver and the Anti-Defamation League are speaking out.

A gunman opened fire in at the Congregation Chabad in Poway, California, leaving one dead and three injured.

“Any day when this happens is horrific,” said Rabbi Joseph Black of Temple Emanuel. “This happened to have taken place when members of the Jewish community was celebrating the last day of Passover. Many members of the Jewish community turn off their social media and they turn off their phones, so they didn’t hear about it until sunset as well.”

Black said when he found out about the shooting, he immediately contacted the congregation in Poway.

“I wrote an email to the congregation expressing grief and sorrow and anger that this is still something we have to deal with in the 21st century,” he said.

Scott Levine with the Anti-Defamation League in Denver said that in order for things to change, hate needs to be gone.

“This man did this out of hate,” Levine said. “Clearly extremist and haters of all kinds have felt empowered to speak out. Unfortunately, synagogues as well as other houses of worship have become targets of their wrath.”

After the Tree of Life Shooting in Pittsburgh, the New Zealand Mosque shooting, the Sri Lanka church bombings and this most recent shooting in California, security is always on the mind of these places.

“Security should be an issue at all times at houses of worship,” Levine said. “It’s unfortunate that we have to do this. The Jewish community has learned that with all the hate in the past, and now other houses of worship are dealing with it as well.”

Temple Emanuel told Denver7 that it has increased security at its temple in the past several years.

“We have a very active security profile, and we are constantly evaluating and re-evaluating what we’re doing,” Black said. “But we’re always looking to see new ways to improve whatever it is that we’re doing. As for the answer to stop all this — I don’t know the answer, but I do know what’s causing it.”