PARIS (Oct. 2)
The French government has ordered elaborate security measures to protect the hundreds of synagogues and Jewish community centers all over France during the High Holidays which begin Friday night.
A government spokesman said 2,000 provincial police have been brought to Paris to bolster the local gendarmerie. Paris has been hit by terrorist attacks six times in the past month, leaving nine dead and nearly 200 injured by bombs. The extra police will remain on duty through Yom Kippur, October 13.
The Jewish community is taking its own precautions. Members of youth organizations will stand guard at various synagogues. Worshippers will be searched before they enter and any bags or parcels will be examined. The Chief Rabbinate has issued a booklet explaining measures to be taken in case of emergency.
Chief Rabbi Rene Sirat has called on French Jews “not to give in to terrorist threats and blackmail.” He urged them to attend services in greater numbers than in past years in response to such threats. Theo Klein, president of the Representative Council of French Jews (CRIF), also urged the community to attend the holiday services in great numbers.