Hate Crime Shootings: Topeka Temple Tightens Security


"This violence has struck the heart of the Jewish community in Kansas City,"said President Barack Obama.

A Missouri man, with a long virulent history of anti-Semitism, is suspected of killing a boy and his grandfather outside a Jewish community center in Kansas City, and a woman at a Jewish assisted living facility nearby, Sunday, April 13, 2014.

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)_ Federal investigators now say Sunday's shootings at two Jewish centers in Overland Park were hate crimes. The shootings left three people dead. It has struck home at Topeka's only temple.

Temple Beth Sholom's Rabbi Debbie Stiel sent out an email to temple members after the Overland Park incident. Rabbi Stiel says there is a plan of action to keep the Beth Sholom congregation safe.

Sunday's shooting at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom in Overland Park has left 3 people dead.

The suspected shooter, 73-year-old Frazier Glen Cross, is reportedly a white supremacist. He allegedly shot and killed a teen, his grandfather and a 53-year-old woman. The incident has gained worldwide attention.

"This violence has struck the heart of the Jewish community in Kansas City,"said President Barack Obama.

And it has also struck the heart of the Jewish community in Topeka.

"It was just horrible. I couldn't believe it had struck so close to Topeka," says Rabbi Stiel.

Stiel says Temple Beth Sholom will have extra security at Temple Passover Seder on Tuesday and will continue to have it for Shabbat services Friday.

"There is no question we want security to make sure our people are safe," says Rabbi Stiel.

With the shooting happening just one day before Passover, Rabbi Stiel says the Jewish holiday wont feel the same.

"Tonight would have been this joyous night, but now for Jews in the area it is really tainted, you know there is just going to be a sadness," says Rabbi Stiel.

A Interfaith Community Service is planned at JCC, White Theatre in Kansas City Thursday at 10 a.m. Stiel says Temple Beth Sholom's security committee is made up of 5 members of the Temple, Temple board, law enforcement, Shawnee County Sheriff's Department, Topeka Police Department, homeland security and the FBI.


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