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'No one is packing their bags for Israel': Jewish community 'thankful' for increased security after Paris attacks

PUBLISHED: 11:12 23 January 2015 | UPDATED: 11:12 23 January 2015

Laura Marks, senior vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said there would be no widespread exodus to Israel from the Jewish community in north London because of rising anti-Semitism. Picture: Polly Hancock

Laura Marks, senior vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said there would be no widespread exodus to Israel from the Jewish community in north London because of rising anti-Semitism. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Jewish community leaders have praised the police and government for their response to increased security fears following the terrorist attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris.

Highgate Synagogue rabbi Nicky Liss praised the polices response to community unease. Picture: Polly HancockHighgate Synagogue rabbi Nicky Liss praised the polices response to community unease. Picture: Polly Hancock

Police in Barnet, Camden and Haringey have stepped up patrols of Jewish schools and synagogues in the wake of the Paris attacks earlier this month.

On Sunday, home secretary Theresa May told a gathering organised by the Board of Deputies of British Jews that the UK must increase its efforts to “wipe out anti-Semitism”.

The Community Security Trust, a charity established to ensure the safety and security of the Jewish community in the UK, has reported a surge in calls from local residents asking for security training to enhance their vigilance against attacks.

Highgate Synagogue rabbi Nicky Liss praised the police’s response to the community unease.

He said: “The community is concerned but at the same time they are very appreciative of the support shown by the government and local police.

“The police come three times a day to check everything is okay at the synagogue. That started in response to the attack on the Jewish museum in Brussels last year.”

Rabbi Dov Kaplan, from Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue, said his community was “encouraged by the support of the government” but raised concerns about constraints on the security services.

He said: “With the legal constraints and restrictions on the budget, will the government be able to protect a threatened minority from ideology-driven terror?”

Rabbi Neil Janes, from the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in St John’s Wood, said there was “greater anxiety” among his congregation but insisted no one felt like “we are in the 1930s again”. He said no one was “packing their bags” to leave for Israel.

Laura Marks, senior vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, echoed Rabbi Janes’ view.

Ms Marks, of Primrose Hill, said there would be no widespread exodus to Israel from the Jewish community in north London because of rising anti-Semitism.

“I’m certainly not packing my bags,” she said. “It’s a wonderful time to be a British Jew in north London.”

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