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Seattle Jewish community reflects on security after Pittsburgh synagogue attack

A Seattle Jewish community says it has a security plan that aims to keep their members safe and allow them to keep doing good work for others.
Inside Temple Beth Am.

As authorities investigate the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, Seattle Jewish groups are reflecting on their security procedures.

At Temple Beth Am in Seattle members gathered Sunday to mourn the 11 people killed by a gunman.

Rabbi Ruth Zlotnick of Temple Beth Am.

“I think our community is feeling the range of emotions that the Jewish community is feeling and other communities,” said Rabbi Ruth Zlotnick. “Which is heartbroken, wounded and resilient.”

She said the temple works hard to protect the safety of members, especially after the 2006 attack on the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.

“Unfortunately, the Seattle Jewish community knows about hatred and violence targeting Jews,” she said, adding that security has been top of mind in the last 18 months.

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“I have to say, I’ve been a rabbi for almost 20 years, and this is by far the scariest time of my rabbinate,” she said.

Though she couldn’t discuss specifics for fear of compromising their security plan, Zlotnick said they have guards and a secured perimeter, among other measures.

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She added their plan also covers the religious school.

“We take it seriously, because every life is priceless, every life is precious,” she said.

She said with that reassurance, their community can focus on doing good work for others.

“We’re not going to cower in fear,” she said. We’re just not.”

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