Beachwood: Jewish agencies cautious after Kansas tragedy

BEACHWOOD -- Several local Jewish agencies and organizations are taking precautionary measures after Sunday's killings at two Jewish centers in Overland Park, Kansas.

Police arrested Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, a longtime white supremacist linked to the KKK in the 1980s, and he was charged with premeditated murder for the deaths of a 14-year-old boy and the boy's grandfather, who were both Christian, and a female victim, whose identity has not been released.

Early this afternoon, Kansas officlals officially classified the attack on the Jewish center and retirement home as a "hate crime."

Here in Northeast Ohio, the Mandel Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage and other synagogues are working with police to be particularly vigilant.

This comes as the Jewish holiday of Passover begins at sundown. Beachwood police cruisers are patrolling or are stationed at several locations throughout the city.

The Mandel JCC released this statement today:

"We are all deeply saddened by the tragic events that took place at the JCC of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park, Kansas. Our hearts and prayers go out to the Kansas City community. The safety and well-being of our members, visitors and staff are our highest priority at the Mandel JCC and we are always vigilant about security. We have taken the precaution of closing our Stonehill entrance through Wednesday, April 16, and during this time access to The J will be limited to our main entrance."

"We continue to review and enhance our security procedures in close collaboration with our partners at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and Beachwood Police. We are most grateful to them for their valued assistance and will continue to work closely with them."

Maltz Museum's media coordinator Adam Teresi tells WKYC that it is not unusual for police cruisers to be in the Maltz parking lot on a regular basis because of problems with drivers speeding through the lot.

The museum is closed today but staff are inside the building and two police cruisers have been spotted driving in and around the lot.



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