PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — On the heels of a shooting in New Jersey that targeted a kosher grocery store, local Pittsburgh Jewish communities have security measures in place as they deal with the many threats they receive.
A safety official at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh says the local Jewish community receives hateful messages or threats on a weekly basis.
WATCH: KDKA’s Pam Surano Reports Live On Security Measures In Place
Brad Orsini is the Communal Security Director at the Jewish Federation and says the most recent threats were made last Saturday and Sunday through social media and email.
“The Jewish community is routinely targeted,” Orsini said.
Law enforcement is investigating those threats.
Orsini says they take every single threat or hateful message seriously.
“We make sure we don’t dismiss any of them,” Orsini said. “We report every single one to law enforcement. We try to follow it through because we cannot, or nor we ever ignore any signs of hate in this community.”
Owners of Pinskers Books & Judaica are sadly familiar with being targeted for their faith.
A few months ago, the business received an unsettling phone call.
“They didn’t personally threaten us,” said owner Baila Cohen said. “They said something about hoping we would die or something along those lines.”
“It’s become a much scarier world,” Baila Cohen added.
WATCH: KDKA’s Shelby Cassesse reports live from Squirrel Hill.
The local Jewish community, including Pinskers Books & Judaica, increased security measures following the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting. Those methods are routinely reevaluated.
“It’s always been a concern, and we’re conscious of security as people are around here and we keep an eye on it,” said store owner Daniel Cohen.
Recently 45 buildings in the area received panic buttons and there have been over 100 training sessions this year on what to do during an attack.
“We want our community to effectively become first responders so they can react in case something bad happens,” Orsini said.
The Cohens say this is a sad reality of being Jewish in America.
“You can’t be safe,” Baila Cohen said. “You can’t be sure of being able to just do your daily thing and somehow not possibly be targeted. It’s really worrisome, it definitely is.”