Paramedics transported a victim of a shooting at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle yesterday.
Temple Emanu-El increases security
The synagogue responds to a fatal shooting in Seattle by a Muslim man
The president of a Honolulu synagogue said news of shootings at a Seattle Jewish center yesterday will lead the Jewish community to increase existing security measures.
George Apter said Temple Emanu-El on Pali Highway has not been the scene of any anti-Israel or anti-Jewish incidents. But, he added, "We have been advised by law enforcement recently that Hezbollah may be targeting Jewish organizations, including those in the United States."
"We are evaluating the situation. We are going to take some measures for security," said Apter, a Honolulu attorney.
Six women at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle were shot, one fatally, by a man who said he was angry at Israel, according to authorities and witnesses.
"Hearing that, we will be taking measures," Apter said.
Authorities in Seattle did not identify the suspect, who was arrested soon after the shootings. They said the man was Muslim but they believe he was acting on his own and not as part of a terrorist group. The shootings were being treated as a hate crime, authorities said.
The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by Muslim militants and escalating violence in the Middle East had already set in motion increased security at Temple Emanu-El on Pali Highway, the most visible Jewish center in Hawaii.
A gate was installed at a pedestrian entrance easily accessible from the sidewalk. The entrance gave passersby access to unlocked restrooms and the shady temple grounds.
Security officers are also used, "not necessarily identified as such," said Apter. In the interests of security, he did not want to detail what other measures are used.
"We don't want to be overly alarmed," he said, and services and programs will not be disrupted.
"We feel like we're a part of this community in every way, not standing apart from it," said Apter. "Every week our prayers call for peace and for the security of our country. We have said special prayers in recent times in light of the situation in the Middle East."
Two other Jewish organizations on Oahu are less visible. Chabad of Hawaii has offices in the Ala Moana Hotel and the conservative Congregation Sof Ma'arav meets at the First Unitarian Church of Hawaii.
The New York Times News Service contributed to this report.