Two synagogues in Chicago learned that they were targets of a failed bomb plot and institutions around the area started taking precautions Friday.
"Since two of the suspicious packages that were intercepted were addressed to religious institutions in Chicago, all churches, synagogues and mosques in the Chicago area should be vigilant for any unsolicited or unexpected packages, especially those originating from overseas locations, " FBI Special Agent Ross Rice said according to the Telegraph.
One of the packages was addressed to Or Chadesh, a small group for gay and lesbian members of the congregation at the Emanuel Syangogue in Chicago, the Telegraph reported. Rabbi Larry Edwards, of Or Chadesh, said that "he could not help but wonder" whether his congregation was targeted for being both Jewish and gay.
"We are a small congregation and I would describe the reaction as one of determination not to let this get to us," Edwards said. "But certainly security has been beefed up and we'll be taking extra precautions."
Other synagogues are increasing security and being especially careful with incoming mail, CNN reported. Some leaders of Chicago synagogues have said that this incident will not interfere with services, although it reinforces beliefs that the Jewish community is a common target of hostility.
"We live in a world that contains some people that are hostile to us and we want to respond to that hostility with caution," said Bob, who leads Etz Chaim in Lombard, Illinois. "At the same time, we're not going to go hide in the basement."