Czechs to up security of ‘threatened’ Jewish institutions

New official position created to handle coordination between the community and the government

Illustrative: The Old New synagogue in Prague, Czech Republic. (CC-BY-SA 3.0 Wikimedia/Øyvind Holmstad)
Illustrative: The Old New synagogue in Prague, Czech Republic. (CC-BY-SA 3.0 Wikimedia/Øyvind Holmstad)

PRAGUE, Czech Republic – Czech and Jewish community officials on Tuesday signed a memorandum to boost the security in and around Jewish institutions due to increased concern over global terrorism.

“The problem in Europe has been growing and we feel that Jewish institutions are threatened. An attack on our institutions may come any time,” Petr Papousek, head of the local Federation of Jewish Communities, told reporters.

Deputy Interior Minister Jiri Novacek added in a statement that “the memorandum creates the post of a security coordinator, who will represent Jewish organizations in contacts with the government.”

“Security cooperation… will now be lifted to a new level,” he added.

The memorandum was signed by the Interior Ministry, the police, Prague city hall, the Federation of Jewish Communities, the Jewish Museum in Prague and Prague’s Chabad Center which seeks to boost Jewish awareness.

Prague is home to six synagogues including the Old-New Synagogue dating from 1270, Europe’s oldest synagogue still in use.

Prague’s Jewish Quarter is one of the most popular destinations for tourists coming to the Czech capital.

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