After Santa Monica bombing, shuls ponder openness vs. security

| April 23, 2011

Nobody thought much about the shabby but quiet middle-aged man who showed up last weekend at an Orthodox study hall in suburban Cleveland.

But when police came last Monday and arrested the man, Ron Hirsch, 60, on charges of setting off a bomb next to the Chabad synagogue in Santa Monica, Calif., it sent shock waves throughout the Jewish community.

Meanwhile, a fire in a prominent Hollywood synagogue on April 14 has been classified as arson. It was set in a classroom on the second floor of Temple Israel of Hollywood early on April 14. The suspect was caught on a security camera and is believed to be a transient known in the area, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Police reportedly are not investigating the incident as a hate crime, though Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge called it a hate crime, the Los Angeles Jewish Journal reported.

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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security

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