BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT)— Members of the Jewish community around the world and locally are on high alert following Hamas’ attack on Israel this weekend.
CEO of the Birmingham Jewish Federation Danny Cohn said their team is actively working to make sure security is amped up at their facilities like the Levite Jewish Community Center.
Cohn said the attack on Israel is even more unsettling following last week’s bomb threats on Birmingham synagogues.
These threats are reasons why Cohn said the Birmingham Jewish Federation employs a regional security advisor for the entire community.
Although they wouldn’t go into specific security measures for safety reasons, there is a notable police presence at their facilities.
“Security is amped up at all of our institutions,” said Cohn. “We always take security seriously, but even now more so even when there’s not a credible threat, we are aware that it can happen at any moment just like it did in Israel, and we are prepared.”
Cohn said an attack like this hit very close to home, noting that Birmingham has several ties to Israel.
He said Birmingham has a sister city there that they’re worried about and staying in close contact with alongside several Birmingham natives who’ve made Israel home that have had to evacuate.
“This doesn’t sit well,” said Cohn. “This was the worst terror attack on any democratic civilization in modern history. They aren’t trying to do a two-state solution. Hamas is trying to irradicate the Jewish people.”
Cohn said this attack will only serve to make the Jewish community stronger and he is confident they will prevail.
Other leaders within the Birmingham Jewish community said they’re finding ways of showing support as needs evolve during this time.
Here in Birmingham, they’ve transformed the Levite Jewish Community Center lobby center into a safe living room space for those who need refreshments or simply want to talk things out.
“We really just want to make sure that we are here and available to listen to help in any way we can,” said Executive Director, Brooke Bowles.
“It is important for the Jewish community to remember that we will prevail,” added Cohn. “There is always a terrorist trying to wipe us out and we as a people have been here more than 3,000 years and we will continue to be here strong for the next 3,000.”