Binghamton Jewish organizations struggle to adjust to new threats – WBNG-TV

Posted By on February 25, 2020

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- In the wake of bomb threats made against 18 Jewish Community Centers across New York State, one local temple leader is speaking out about a recent rise in anti-semitism.

"I think the last couple of years anti-semitic threats have been a challenge to Jewish organizations of all kinds," said Rachel Coker, President of Temple Concord in Binghamton.

According to data from the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism there were nearly two thousand anti-semitic incidents reported in the United States in 2018. This leaves congregation leaders with a dilemma.

"We want people to come here we want people to study and pray with us but at the same time we need to keep the people who are already inside safe," said Coker.

The recent uptick in anti-semitism has officials wondering if armed security is needed at the Temple and if so how much. Coker says this presents its own challenges.

"There are people who are here looking for a place of meditation and peace and it's hard to reconcile that for some people with the presence of someone who's holding a gun," she said.

Captain Kate Newcomb of the Broome County Sheriff's Office says the department is prepared to step in if such a threat is ever made in Broome County.

"It would be a multifaceted approach and we would also lean on other agencies and their resources," she said.

Coker says she hopes that there will come a time when security is no longer a concern for her congregants.

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Binghamton Jewish organizations struggle to adjust to new threats - WBNG-TV

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