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Increased security at synagogues during major holidays



Indianapolis, Indiana – Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of a new Jewish calendar year for those of the Jewish faith.

The holiday starts on September 15 at dusk. Yom Kippur, a day of atonement for Jews, falls on the 24th and 25th of September after it.

Some people could decide not to attend services when attacks on the Jewish community increase in frequency.

“If anybody doesn’t go to synagogue, then in a way, they’ve won, and we don’t want that,” said Brad Swim.

Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis security specialist Swim is a former FBI agent. He also serves as a regional advisor for the Secure Community Network, which offers protection and assistance to synagogues, educational institutions, and other Jewish institutions.

“We certainly recommend a variety of security measures. We are interested in a layered approach to security,” said Swim.

Even though Jews only make up 2% of the US population, more than 60% of hate crimes are motivated by religion, according to Swim.

“We’re all about being proactive, and preventative, so we provide training, we provide preparedness, assistance, we provide consultations with synagogues, Hebrew schools, and also liaison with law enforcement and first responders,” said Swim.

Swim wants worshipers to realize that times have changed and it is no longer unimaginable for someone to attack a place of worship.

“What we don’t want is fear and paranoia that causes hyperfocus. We also don’t want anyone in a state of denial, saying that it won’t happen here, it couldn’t happen here,” said Swim.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis collaborate closely. Any potential threats to the Jewish community are relayed to IMPD.