Metro area synagogues training ushers to protect against terror acts

Posted at 5:49 PM, Aug 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-29 18:13:04-04

The Anti Defamation League’s Detroit Regional Office says it is seeing a disturbing increasing in reports of hate. It is not just talking.  It is issuing a call to action.

The Anti-Defamation League says when you compare the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017 you see an 86% increase nationwide in reported incidents of hate.

The Michigan office is also seeing a disturbing increase in reports of hate.

“We used to have 2-3 a month that we would get involved,” says Heidi Budaj, Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation league. “Now I am getting 2- 3 a day.”

She worries some progress being made since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream speech 54 years ago yesterday is being lost.

“I think for me personally it is frightening, it is disheartening,” she says. “This is not the America I know and love.”

She says it is a time for action.

Morris Collins is head of security at Temple Beth El.  He says seeing the hatred on display in Charlottesville and recent bomb threats at Jewish community centers in metro-Detroit raised awareness about hate.

He and other temples are working with the ADL, the Jewish Federation and law enforcement such as the FBI to secure temples.

They are asking for people to volunteer to be ushers and go through security training .

Usher Rochelle Nelson went through the training. She said it taught her a lot. She says more ushers are needed.

The doors are locked at Temple Beth El. The Temple has a security team - keeping track of who comes and goes.