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Congregations in the area increase security amid the chaos caused by Hamas attacks



Billings, Montana – Jewish communities from throughout the Treasure State gathered on Friday for their final Festival of Lights celebration.

In response to the continuous unrest brought on by Hamas attacks since October, numerous local churches in the Treasure State have strengthened their security measures to ensure that guests feel secure during prayers.

Everlasting Covenant Congregation in Billings has likewise increased security following the FBI’s nationwide alert regarding serious threats against Jewish communities.

“We have increased security by camera, we’ve locked our doors, and we have put guards at the doors. So, we know who’s coming in, but we also see a camera of who it is before we let them in. We also have been training so when there is a word that’s sent out when somebody says, “hit the dirt”, everybody gets to the floor,” explained Steve Heimbichner, a senior pastor at Everlasting Covenant Congregation.

The pastor added that while he has always felt comfortable and secure in Billings, the church wanted to implement these extra security measures to provide his guests with the same feeling of safety and security when they are worshiping.

“We are probably not at the top of the game unlike Chicago or New York City but all it takes is one. So, we are taking the best precautions we can,” added Heimbichner.

Speaking with representatives of Congregation Beth Aaron, the Nonstop Local Team learned that although they have not heard of any security issues thus far, they have been in constant communication with the Billings Police Department.

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