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November 15, 2015 12:32 pm

French-Jewish Security Agency Provides Safety Guidelines for Community in Wake of Paris Attacks

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

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SPCJ, with its logo shown here, posted instructions on Facebook on how to keep Jewish community members safe. Photo: Facebook.

SPCJ, with its logo shown here, posted instructions on Facebook on how to keep Jewish community members safe. Photo: Facebook.

French Jewry’s communal security service has published instructions for Jewish leaders and community members on how to stay safe following the six coordinated Islamist terrorist attacks that took place across Paris on Friday, the UK Jewish Chronicle reported.

The Service de Protection de la Communauté Juive (SPCJ) —  established in 1980 by CRIF, the umbrella organization of the French-Jewish community — firstly advised congregants to avoid carrying big bags with them to synagogue, explaining, “This limits the number of checks to be made by the police or military, which thins the control points and facilitates their work, and therefore the safety of all.”

SPCJ also told Jewish leaders to make sure congregants are aware of any service cancellations, to avoid their having to wait outside, “thereby putting them at even greater risk.” The security service also assessed that the assailants behind Friday’s attacks, in which 132 people were killed and an additional 350 were wounded, nearly one hundred of them critically, had researched the daily routines of their targets. Therefore, SPCJ suggested, it would be best for Jewish community leaders to “break the routine.”

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“For example, shift schedules, and use any emergency doors instead of the main entrance,” the group posted on Facebook.

SPCJ released the instructions after reports surfaced that Paris’ Bataclan concert hall — the site of the deadliest of Friday’s attacks, where 89 people were killed — may have been targeted because of its hosting of pro-Israel events and past Jewish ownership. Until September, the establishment was owned by two French Jewish brothers, who received death threats in the past for hosting the Israeli events.

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