For years, he and his wife, Faith, would unlock their front door right before Shabbat dinners, believing in a Judaism where no door is shut or locked. That changed after Tree of Life — the deadliest antisemitic attack in U.S. history. Leener also installed a security camera and a buzz-in system for visitors. He hired an armed guard after this year’s hostage situation in Texas.
“It’s terribly unfortunate that we live in an age when we need to compromise our value of openness for the threat of violence, but that is just the reality at the moment,” Leener said.
It is a balancing act for many. Marsh said the shooting in his church happened because members of the Taiwanese congregation were welcoming to the shooter — a person they didn’t know.
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“The church needs to be welcoming to all people, and we cannot lose that,” he said.
“Are there ways an active shooter could get on our campus again? Yes. But we have to be willing to have this happen again. Otherwise, we would all have to go through metal detectors. It would no longer be a church.”
By DEEPA BHARATH and LUIS ANDRES HENAO Associated Press
Henao reported from New York.
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