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In the wake of Boston Marathon bombings, Israeli Independence Day fetes are toned down

by Gil Shefler, JTA

April 16, 2013 | 9:49 am

Runners embrace after picking up their medals near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, a day after the race in Boston, Mass. April 16. Photo by Adrees Latif/Reuters

Runners embrace after picking up their medals near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, a day after the race in Boston, Mass. April 16. Photo by Adrees Latif/Reuters

Israeli Independence Day celebrations in Boston were muted and security was increased in the wake of bombings that left three dead and dozens injured at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Mike Rosenberg, director of community relations at Maimonides, a Jewish day school in suburban Brookline, said an event Tuesday commemorating Israel's 65th anniversary had been toned down out of respect for the victims of the attack and their families.

“Messages have gone out to parents and students that in the context of yesterday's events, there will be no dancing and more [words of Torah]," he said.

The Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston called off a flag-raising ceremony for Israel's Independence Day, leaving its flags at half-mast.

Shira Strosberg, the school's director of communications, said security in and around its campus was ratcheted up.

“We are obviously saddened and everybody came to school today with a heavy heart,” she said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by the bombings.”

At a Yom Haatzmaut celebration in Los Angeles Monday evening, sponsored by the Israeli Consulate, security was tightened signifcantly, a spokewoman said, and prayers were offered both by Israeli Consul General David Siegel and by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the event's honoree.

No one has taken responsibility for the two explosions near the finish line and there was no indication Jewish institutions were at any particular risk. Nonetheless, community officials told JTA they remained vigilant.

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