Rabbis from European countries gathered in Prague Tuesday for training in self-defense and first aid in response to a wave of attacks against Jews and a rise of anti-Semitism on the continent.
In a stunning beginning of a training session, knives were distributed to dozens of rabbis, young and old, before receiving instructions and practicing what to do to survive stabbing and how to treat injuries.
Some occasionally burst out with a laugh but overall the rabbis took it seriously as it was prompted by fears after the deadly terror attack against a kosher grocery in Paris in January and the murder of a Jewish security guard outside a synagogue in Copenhagen earlier this month.
Tuesday’s training was part of an annual gathering of rabbis organized by the Rabbinical Center of Europe and the European Jewish Association
A lack of action from European governments to protect Jews in Europe has contributed to their decision to organize the training, first in Prague, and later in other European countries.
If police officers are not able to provide protection, guards appointed by Jewish organizations to protect Jewish sites should be allowed to be armed, organizers say