Suburban Paris synagogue receives threatening letter

Suburban Paris synagogue receives threatening letter

PARIS — A letter threatening to shoot Jews was received at a synagogue north of Paris.

The anonymous letter was discovered Tuesday by synagogue workers in Drancy. It had been delivered on Aug. 14 and included bullets and a swastika, according to the Bureau of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism.

“Dirty Jews, we’ll get you all, accompanied with nine bullets,” read the letter, according to Sammy Ghozlan, head of the bureau.

The synagogue’s rabbi, Haim Ammar, told JTA that an official investigation is underway, but it is too early to be seriously alarmed. “We are waiting to see if this comes from a real source, or an unbalanced person,” Ammar said. At this early stage, an alarmist reaction “won’t help anyone,” he added.

The synagogue has received several calls from concerned members, and is trying to reassure congregants and calm things down, he said. Surveillance measures will be increased at the synagogue, but no major changes currently will be made to regular security procedures.

The suburb of Drancy was the site of a Nazi internment camp where thousands of Jewish prisoners were detained and then systematically shipped to death camps in Poland.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Ghozlan asked authorities to reinforce security around Jewish gathering places across France in the weeks leading up to the Jewish High Holiday period.