PORTLAND, Ore. -- A deadly shooting Sunday that started at a Jewish community center in Kansas is a reminder for some people in the Portland area to stay aware of their surroundings.
“We’ll be more vigilant,” said Rabbi Daniel Isaak of Congregation Neveh Shalom in Southwest Portland.
He plans to hold a staff meeting Monday to discuss security but also feels these shooting incidents are rare.
“The Jewish community is really very, very secure, probably more secure than ever before,” Isaak said.
Both members and non-members who utilize services at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center (MJCC) in Southwest Portland said they do not feel fearful and appreciate a security guard at the front door.
“[It’s no different] than soldiers shooting up Fort Hood or somebody shooting 20 kids at a grade school,” said Bruce Banasky, who belongs to the MJCC and goes there five times a week. “It’s the same bad vibes and evil that’s out there.”
Janet Gullburg, who only goes to the center for her son’s basketball practices each week said she notices heightened security during Jewish events.
“If you don't have your ID, even though they see me a lot, they'll still ask me for it,” said Gullburg. “I never feel intimidated or worried.”
“We have very detailed security protocol as well as an excellent relationship and ongoing line of communication with the Portland Police Department,” said Interim Executive Director Beth Germain.
Across the street, at Everything Jewish, Chabad Rabbi Chayim Mishulovin points to a Passover passage to help explain his response. The Jewish holiday begins Monday evening.
“Every generation, we've been persecuted many times, and in every part of the world,” said Rabbi Mishulovin. “The message to all the Jews every year is that we'll always survive, thrive and we'll always be here.”