COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Today, at sunset, begins Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest. It’s a time for the Jewish community to come together and light candles. This time, it’ll look a little different.
On Thursday, a former Hamas leader has called for Muslims to protest around the world, prompting increased security at temples and synagogues. While there are no credible threats here locally right now, should a situation arise, JewishColumbus does have security measures in place.
“Our community has not experienced a crisis like this in decades, it’s probably the biggest crisis our generation will ever face,” said JewishColumbus Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Joanne Strasser.
According to JewishColumbus, security measures didn’t just start this week. It’s something that’s been implemented all year round.
“Our security concerns, they pretty much started with the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh and since that time, we have been working diligently to make sure that kind of tragedy never happens in our community again,” said Strasser.
While no credible threats have been made here locally, she said it’s important to keep an eye out.
“We encourage people to be vigilant, to be cautious, but to also not be afraid to keep living Jewishly here in Columbus,” added Strasser.
Shabbat begins at sunset Friday night and ends Saturday at sunset.
“This Shabbat is going to be very different and it’s going to be sad, but I think we will all find comfort in lighting our Shabbat candles and being together and having that kind of solidarity within our community at this difficult time,” said Strasser.
As Israel’s war with Hamas continues, she says it’s important for the Jewish community to come together.
“Our community is very diverse. We are diverse in our political views in both the United States and in Israel, but at a time like this we all come together. We are one united Jewish community and without that kind of support and solidarity, I don’t know how we would get through this.”
During Shabbat, the Jewish community is encouraged to get together to share some light and pray for the Jewish community not just here in Columbus, but around the world.