Greater Security Measures in Vilnius Following Terrorist Attack at Moscow Synagogue


The Lithuanian Jewish Community is alarmed by the armed terrorist attack at a synagogue in Moscow on October 1 and in order to insure greater security has announced a set of rules for the Choral Synagogue in Vilnius, in light of ever-more-frequent attacks against Jews in Europe and the increasing danger posed by terrorism around the world. These rules must be followed strictly and are aimed at insuring the physical safety and spiritual dignity of those praying at the Taharat ha’Kodesh (aka Choral) Synagogue in Vilnius. The rules may be found here:

On October 1 a synagogue in Moscow was attacked. A security guard was wounded during the attack. There are reports the attacker might have been suffering mental illness. He has been arrested. Armed with a gun, the attacker stormed the synagogue with a canister of flammable liquid as well and threatened to burn down the Jewish house of prayer. He shot the security guard in the head and chest after he tried to refuse the attacker entry.


The attacker has been arrested but the police are not reporting any motive for the attack or further details, except that he has been identified as Ivan Lebedev, aged 40, and has been hospitalized for mental illness in the past. About 150 people were gathered at the synagogue for Sabbath services. The attacker reportedly demanded to meet with Moscow’s Chief Rabbi Pinkhas Goldschmidt.

Anti-Semitic attacks of this nature have been rare in Russia and are more often committed in Western European countries with large Jewish communities such as Great Britain and France.