Metro Detroiters talk about upping safety measures for Jewish businesses in the wake of the New Jersey Kosher Supermarket Shooting.
Four innocent lives were lost Dec. 10 following a shooting at the JC Kosher Supermarket in Jersey City, N.J. There was initial uncertainty regarding the motive of this attack, yet officials announced Thursday it is being investigated as a potential act of terrorism.
During a news conference Dec. 12, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said, “We believe that the suspects held views that reflected hatred of the Jewish people as well as a hatred of law enforcement.”
The kosher supermarket was in fact being targeted, not unlike the recent act of vandalism at Temple Jacob in Hancock, Mich.
Locally, One Stop Kosher Market in Southfield has been a staple for the Jewish community for more than 20 years.
Shmuli Scheiner has been the store manager at One Stop Kosher for about 15 years and is focused is keeping the business running as usual.
“We certainly would not back down or do anything different,” Scheiner said. “It’s important to stand strong when faced with something like this, but it is a terrible tragedy.”
Scheiner also emphasized that One Stop Kosher implements safety precautions to prevent a situation like this from happening.
“It definitely made us look over what we are doing and think, ‘Is there something more that we could do?’” Scheiner said.
Gary Sikorski, chief of community-wide security for the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, offers trainings to businesses of all sizes.
“What happened in Jersey City shows that a Jewish agency or company is a Jewish target. Perpetrators of these crimes don’t distinguish between a social service agency and a business,” Sikorski said.
He also emphasizes that local police departments have good crime prevention programs targeting the business community specifically, often established through business associations.
Yet, he anticipates receiving more requests for training from local businesses in the wake of this attack.
“Our offer always stands for training,” Sikorski said. “Ideally, we would love to have a community of first-responders — that means getting as many people trained as possible.”