Security concerns rise in the Hudson Valley amid escalating Israel-Hamas conflict
As the conflict between Israel and Hamas escalates, communities worldwide, including those in the Hudson Valley, express growing concerns about the implications for their own safety.
Jewish houses of worship throughout the Hudson Valley have united in mourning and prayer since the commencement of the Hamas attacks on Saturday morning.
Given the circumstances, security has become a paramount concern.
The barbaric terrorist attacks in Israel over the past several days have instilled fear in many at home. They anxiously await updates from family members in Israel, some of whom are either missing or in sheltered locations. Consequently, it comes as no surprise that security measures have been heightened at schools and synagogues in our region.
In Rockland County, which hosts one of the largest Jewish populations in the country, police cars have been stationed outside places of worship.
The Head of Security for the Westchester Jewish Council emphasizes their close collaboration with schools, synagogues, and law enforcement agencies to reinforce safety protocols.
"First and foremost, there's no credible threat in our area, that is number one...secondly, if you don't already have a good relationship with your local police department, start now...And thirdly, everybody should have protocols, and everybody should have protocols that are practiced and reinforced," says Jeffrey Kapelus, security chair of the Westchester Jewish Council.
As vigils and gatherings persist, security experts advocate for enhanced precautions, such as controlling access, ensuring locked doors, verifying functioning cameras, and designating safe rooms.