Increased security around Jewish places of worship as Hanukkah begins
The Jewish holiday, Hanukkah, begins on Sunday night, but some temples are already having holiday events starting Friday night.
Each night of Hanukkah a candle is lit which is meant to signal light being brought in to the world, according to Rabbi Nicole Luna of Temple Beth El.
“This is the time of family and of celebrating coming together…celebrating our Jewish identity and most importantly about bringing in light,” Rabbi Luna said.
Temple Beth El is a sanctuary where people are supposed to feel safe, but in recent years, many things have changed.
Cameras now line the building providing tight security to the temple.
“Well I think the story of Hanukkah can be one about survival, but it’s also about flourishing that there is a flourishing Jewish community… Jewish life happening inside these walls… And it’s not just about the security that we have to take to protect ourselves but also about the real joy and the real learning and the real life that’s happening inside the building,” Rabbi Luna said.
In April of this year, a worshiper was gunned down at a synagogue in California, after that, here in Florida, another shooting took place at a temple in Miami.
And most recently, there was an attack on a Jewish deli in Jersey City.
But rather than focus on tragedy, Rabbi Luna says this holiday is a time to be proud.
“So especially around this time of year we think about the importance of coming together of standing together and saying we’re still here,” Rabbi Luna said.
As they celebrate the Shabbat tonight, you can expect to see an LCSO deputy outside the building. They told us they hire an officer for all big events.