NYC Rabbi Teaches Synagogue Self-Defense

By Matthew Harwood

A New York City rabbi has developed a 100-hour counterterrorist security training course to protect synagogues during the forthcoming Jewish High Holy Days, The New York Post reports.

Fearing jihadists will attack synagogues during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, a group of badass rabbis has developed a program to turn your average shul-goer into a lean, mean fighting machine.

The group, which calls itself the International Security Coalition of Clergy, was founded by Rabbi Gary Moscowitz, who boasts a black belt in karate, teaches martial arts and was an NYPD cop for nine years.

He's teaching others basic and advanced fighting moves -- how to take down a terrorist by the neck, how to use a table as cover from gunfire and how to execute a nifty running somersault while drawing a gun -- that he says can be used by Jews if they're attacked by terrorists during prayer.

Moscowitz developed the training course after he learned of a terrorist plot to blow up two city synagogues in the Bronx, which was foiled by the FBI in May.

"We have to be our first responders," Moscowitz told the Post in the video below. "The reason why we have to be our first responders is because even if the police were trained properly by the time they show up we'll all be dead. Even if they show up in three minutes, which is great timing here, a guy with a machine gun could kill everyone."

House-of-worship security has been a concern recently due to the Bronx synagogue plot and the late May murder of abortion doctor George Tiller, who was gunned down by an antiabortion activist inside the vestibule of his church in Wichita, Kansas. In March, Reverend Fred Winters was gunned down in Maryville, Illinois, while saying Sunday morning mass.

Last month, Security Management reviewed Keeping Your Church Safe, which advocates a risk management approach for clergy looking to protect their congregation from violent crime and terrorism.

♦ Photo of Central Synagogue, New York City, by stevecadman/Flickr


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