Local synagogues increase security in response to bloody New York attack

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SAN DIEGO – Security at local synagogues has been tightened in response to a series of recent attacks against Jews and their religious institutions, including a machete rampage at a New York rabbi's home over the weekend.

Five people were hospitalized as the result of the machete attack on Saturday at the home of a rabbi in Monsey, 36 miles north of New York City. A 38-year-old suspect was later arrested in Harlem in connection with the attack, which New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has called an "act of domestic terrorism."

A family attorney said the suspect has a long history of mental illness and hospitalizations.

“We feel the need to be more vigilant, to be more aware, to know our environment,” said Rabbi Zalman Carlebach of the Chabad of Downtown. "The last day in Chanukah, we are out in the open. We are not going let this have any darkness towards us or our communities."

The Anti Defamation League is now calling for new domestic anti-terrorism legislation to prevent the uptick in  home-grown anti-Semitic attacks.

"We get swastikas on homes, we get threatening calls to synagogues, things like that. It has increased,” said Lindsey Zipkin from the Anti Defamation League.  "The ADL every year collects anti-Semitic incident reports. Since 2015, our audit shows a 99% rise in incidents.”

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