Security experts question how to protect synagogues

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RYE -

Top-ranking security officials met Wednesday with Jewish leaders to discuss safety at Westchester synagogues in the wake of last month's Pittsburgh shooting.

These meetings have been held quarterly every year since 2011, but since 11 people were shot at a Pittsburgh synagogue, there's an extra push to closely watch synagogues and Jewish community centers like JCC on the Hudson in Tarrytown.

Westchester District Attorney Anthony Scarpino presided over the meeting at Congregation Emanu-El in Rye.

Officials say there's been a big uptick in anti-Semitic acts and threats in Westchester in just the last two years. "Anti-Semitic activity is on the rise," says Scarpino. "It's very disturbing. But it appears people are starting to come out of the woodwork of late, and we're trying to be aggressive in our proactive reactions in this regard.”

Officials tell News 12 there is more security in place at houses of worship than you could ever imagine. However, Eliot Forchheimer, of the Westchester Jewish Council, says no amount of security or the hate it hopes to prevent will diminish the spirit of love that's now alive more than ever all around the county.

Wednesday night’s meeting attracted more than double the number of local security volunteers it normally does.

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