Boston Rabbi Urges Jews to Bring Guns to Prayers

Two contrasting stories about guns in synagogues.

Bob Kinder, who served six years in the US Armed Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is currently the president and CEO of the safety and security consulting firm Talon Solutions, cited a Reform synagogue in Brookline, Mass., where congregants were hesitant to have someone with a gun protecting the place. He was asked to provide security for an interfaith event and, after accepting their offer, was asked if “he would feel comfortable being unarmed.”

“My response was, ‘I’m a professional. These are my credentials. If your purpose is deterrence and to secure the people inside, you are better off with me being armed and able to respond.’ ”

In the end, Kinder was armed. In fact, he received an email after the event informing him that the congregation requested him back.

And a very different story.

A Boston-area rabbi is urging members of his congregation to bring guns to services to fend off potential antisemitic attackers.

Several of his congregants are veterans and retired policemen, and have agreed to come armed to services. Rodkin is giving recommendation letters to others so they can obtain gun licenses.

Rodkin is also planning to procure a personal weapon for himself.

Some synagogues are choosing to defend themselves. Others are fundamentally conflicted about the idea.