CHICAGO (CBS) — The shootings by white supremacist Frazier Glenn Cross outside Kansas City have Chicago’s Jewish leaders reaching out. Chicago Rabbi Yona Reiss of the Chicago Rabbinical Council touched base with his counterpart in Overland Park, Kansas.
“From what I can tell, they’re handling it obviously to the best of their ability. It’s an almost incomprehensible event. It’s an act of senseless hatred,” said Reiss.
Chicago’s Jewish institutions, like the Bernard Horowith Jewish Community Center on Touhy are stepping up vigilance, but precautions have their limits.
“As long as there’s hate and an inclination toward violence, not everyone, everywhere will be safe,” said Jay Tcath of the Jewish Federation of Chicago.
Two of Cross’s victims were gunned down in the parking lot of a Jewish community center in suburban Kansas City, not the easiest location to secure. Chicago Police have responded by meeting with some Jewish clerics.
“The commander of the local police district has been meeting with local synagogues and local rabbis to make sure and reassure there’s proper security in place for the upcoming holidays,” said Rabbi Reiss.
Cross is said to be a former Ku Klux Klan member and a strong admirer of Adolph Hitler. The killings came just days before Passover, but some analysts believe the timing may be tied to other upcoming dates: the anniversary of Oklahoma City bombing, April 19, and Hitler’s birthday, April 20.