OAKLAND, Calif. - In the wake of a reported "Day of Jihad" threat by a former Hamas leader, less than a week after a surprise attack in Israel, there was a wide range of responses by Bay Area Hebrew schools.
Some opted to close for the day on Friday, while others continued operations under heightened police security.
Halleli Toder of Oakland, who had recently returned from her native Israel just before the attack on Saturday, shared her thoughts on the ongoing situation, saying, "It's a horrible time, and everyone's struggling."
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On Friday, Toder picked up her son from the school at Beth Jacob Congregation in Oakland, where a police officer was posted on campus.
"Knowing that there is a police presence and that the school is aware, and they're increasing security, makes it feel like we can trust that what needs to be done is done," Toder said.
At the Oakland Hebrew Day School in the hills, a police car was also stationed on the premises. The school was open for students on Friday, unlike three Peninsula schools that were closed for the day.
Marc Levine, the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, expressed his concern, saying, "It's very scary to have threats being made to the Jewish community at a time when we really need to heal."
Levine emphasized that whether individual campuses remain open, school officials should not hesitate to "have moral leadership, to express to their student body, the sorrow that we all feel for the loss of lives that occurred in Israel."
San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said officers have bolstered patrols around schools, places of worship, and community centers.
"We are doing ‘passing calls’ or extra patrols all around the city, and this Police Department is committed to protecting and serving everybody," Scott said.
The chief said that there have not been any reports of imminent threats of violence.
"This conflict has sparked a lot of interest, debate, protest, and our job is to make sure that all that’s done peacefully and within the law," Scott said.
Dashiell Ferguson picked up lunch at Oakland Kosher Foods along Lakeshore Avenue, wearing an Oakland A's hat that featured an Aleph, which is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
"I know there are enemies of the Jewish people out there," Ferguson said. But he added, "We can't let the security concerns intrude upon our peace of mind too deeply. You still gotta carry on."
Henry Lee is a KTVU crime reporter. E-mail Henry at Henry.Lee@fox.com and follow him on Twitter @henrykleeKTVU and www.facebook.com/henrykleefan.