Rabbi Yonah Bookstein of Los Angeles’ Pico Shul was at home Saturday afternoon, observing the Sabbath, when someone on the synagogue’s security team alerted him about the deadly shooting at the Chabad of Poway.
The synagogue was prepared. After a gunman killed 11 people and wounded seven others at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last year — one in a string of attacks on houses of worship in the U.S. and abroad — Pico Shul developed extra security measures as a precaution and out of concern about rising incidents of anti-Jewish hate. On Saturday, officials were ready to implement those measures.
“People on our security committee carry cellphones on Sabbath,” Bookstein said. “We have security protocols so that when something happens, we put it into play.”
The attack at the Poway synagogue in San Diego County on Saturday morning killed one woman and injured three others, including the rabbi who was celebrating the last day of Passover with his congregants when a gunman wearing a green military-style vest and armed with a semiautomatic weapon burst in and began shooting. The suspect was later arrested.
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