Jewish leaders and members of the two Riverdale, N.Y., synagogues targeted in Wednesday night's foiled terror plots were alarmed by what could have happened — but thankful that authorities were there to stop it.
"I really haven't had time to digest it," said Judith Lewis, the senior rabbi at the Riverdale Temple. "Having lived in Israel a couple of times, I guess I'm used to it."
Lewis said she had no warning when she encountered two plainclothes cops inside the temple just before the arrests were made Wednesday.
"They said there was a police action," she said.
"Nobody told us what was going on. I didn't realize what was happening until I walked into the parking lot and Independence Avenue was closed."
She was stunned to see cops with automatic weapons taking the suspects into custody.
"It looked incredibly well organized. They seemed to be doing a very good job, and I'm thankful for it," she said.
As word spread, members of the nearby Riverdale Jewish Center — the second target — "rushed over to see if everything is going to be OK," said its rabbi, Jonathan Rosenblatt.
His synagogue issued a statement to its members emphasizing that "at no time was there any real danger," Rosenblatt said.
They were also told that patrols were going to be beefed up around the synagogues, even though there's no imminent threat.
But nerves were frayed.
"When I found out it was the Riverdale Jewish Center, I thought, 'Oh, my God, that is us. We are members there. They're targeting our home,'" said Josh Loberfeld, 29, who attends services there every Saturday.
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