'Our hearts go out to the Jewish people'

President of Beverly Hills congregation: Institutions should do what they see fit in order to be prepared for any type of attack.

Yoni Kempinski ,

Jess Dolgin
Jess Dolgin
Arutz Sheva

Jess Dolgin, CEO of J Media Group and President of the Beth Jacob Congregation in Beverly Hills, spoke to Arutz Sheva following the shooting attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

“It was a terrible tragedy. It was more than a tragedy, it was a travesty. There are really no words. We always prepare for these incidents but the truth of the matter is that we never know when they’re going to happen,” he said.

On the issue of increased security, Dolgin said, “Many institutions that I’m familiar with in California prepare. We have guards during the week and during the holidays and on Shabbat. Everyone understands that there’s no such thing as 100% preparedness and nothing is 100% secure, but I think that institutions over all do the best that they can with the means that they have to provide as much security to their congregants.”

Jewish institutions, he opined, “should do what they see fit in order to be prepared for any type of attack on their institution or harm that may come from any kind of organization, whether it’s a terrorist organization, whether it’s an anti-Semitic organization, whether it’s someone who has a grudge with the institution. I think that it’s very important that every synagogue give a lot of thought to what kind of preparedness or security they all need.”

The incident in Pittsburgh “brings to light the constant threat that we try to forget about and try not to think about. I think that everyone is aware that Jewish institutions can be targets…I’m sure that many Jewish institutions around the United States are going to rethink what they’re doing for their security,” said Dolgin.

He noted that this is a time of unity not just among the different streams in Judaism but among all religions.

“There are churches that are attacked, there are synagogues that are attacked, and the United States has a freedom of religion and everyone has the right to feel secure and safe.”

“Our hearts go out to the Jewish people. Our hearts go out to those who were injured and the families of those who were killed in the attack. Our prayers, our hearts are with you and together we will stand strong.”