14 Nov Boost to TBI’s security
Peter Kohn – The Australian Jewish News – Thursday 14 November
VICTORIAN Liberal Senator James Paterson received a briefing on the specific security needs of Temple Beth Israel (TBI) when he visited the shule after the federal government’s announcement of the latest round of Jewish community organisations to receive funding under the Community Safety Grants program.
The government had earlier announced awardees under the funding, with TBI receiving a grant of more than $200,000 towards bolstering security and safety.
TBI will use the funding to ensure greater protection of the synagogue, facilities, pre-school, Hebrew school and community centre by installing bollards at the entry points, perimeter lighting and other measures.
During his visit, Paterson told the AJN that TBI “is very identifiable as a place of worship”, further stating, “It’s wonderful to deliver over $200,000 to Temple Beth Israel for security upgrades. Given the high-visibility locations and presence of the synagogue, it is so important there are strong security measures in place to safeguard their place of worship.
“Sadly, Australia is not immune from the disturbing rise of anti-semitism around the world which threatens the safety and security of our Jewish community. The government’s community safety grants aim to provide practical security solutions that protect community groups like Temple Beth Israel from unwanted harm.”
Welcoming the senator, TBI’s Rabbi Gersh Lazarow explained that bollards and lighting, perimeter fencing, and surveillance cameras and the technology underpinning them were key components for which the funding would be used.
TBI president Rebecca Silk emphasised that the synagogue’s security strategy focused on optimal protection with minimal visual changes to the exterior of the buildings.
TBI was among 10 organisations in the Macnamara electorate to successfully apply for grants totalling more than $4.2 million under the Community Safety Grants program, which is part of the Morrison government’s Safer Communities program.