Usually I would be addressing you all from the bimah to remind you about the importance of security and vigilance as we gather for the high holy days. So what makes this year different from all other years? Well, just one thing: I am addressing you all virtually.
The message, however, remains the same: security and vigilance. This time of year is always a time of heightened awareness for security. I hope it is obvious to all of you that the high holy days are a time of even greater need for vigilance and security.
Working alongside CST, the security team at Sinai are making sure that not just ourselves, but the whole of the Leeds Jewish community, can celebrate the yamim noraim safely. The role that we each play in this is vigilance.
What have you noticed that may be out of place or unusual? Have you spotted a vehicle or a person near any of the community buildings (synagogues or otherwise) loitering, watching or taking pictures of? Are there any packages outside you had not noticed the last time you went past?
Your role, your duty, is to report it. The Police and CST will NOT be unhappy if you happen to call in something which turns out to be either expected or known about. Again, I hope it is obvious that not calling in something which later turns out to be a problem would be a concern.
If you want to report anything which looks like an immediate threat to any person or to a building, call 999, from a safe distance, IMMEDIATELY. Explain carefully where you are and that the threat is against a Jewish person or building. Then call CST on (0800) 032-3263, tell them you've called the Police and tell them everything you told the Police.
If the threat is not immediate, call the Police on 111 and explain everything, making sure you again reference that the concern involves a Jewish person or building. And, again, once done call CST as above.
This time of the year, more than any other, the whole community remembers that kol Yisrael arevim zeh bazeh - all of Israel are responsible for one another. Play your part in this and stay vigilant.
David J Israel
Chair and Security Officer