December 2018:

We are all aware of the shooting at the Tree of Life at the end of October, as well as the recent escalation of hate crimes throughout the country. Whether we label these violent acts “hate crimes” or “domestic terrorism”, their intent is the same – to instill the public with fear and to bully their targets into giving up and disappearing. However, the people and groups who commit these acts have a 100% failure rate.

Not only do they never achieve their objectives, they always strengthen the resolve of those targeted. Since the shootings, not only has attendance not declined, my observation is that it has increased. The activity level in the New Haven Jewish community has been greater since the shooting, not less.

With all of the above being said, the events of recent weeks have also brought forward the need for us to improve overall security at TBS. These improvements will be taking various forms and will require us to accept changing some of our practices and processes. Changes of this type can be difficult to accept, not because of what the new processes or practices are, but rather the fact that they are necessary and what they represent. However, they are nevertheless necessary. We have already begun to put the more easily implemented security measures in place, like the locking of our doors during services, meetings and Hebrew School; and the installation of cameras throughout the building. Over the upcoming weeks, additional security enhancement measures will be implemented. I appreciate everyone’s patience while we are going through this important process.

In closing, I want to encourage everyone to continue coming to TBS for services and for events and programs.

I wish you all a very Happy Chanukah!

Josh Weissman