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New York Man Arrested for Disrupting Rosh Hashana Services

A man accused of disrupting a service at a Brighton synagogue over the weekend has been arrested, according to Brighton police.

Christopher Avila, 31, of Farmington, Ontario County, was charged with disruption or disturbance of a religious service, a misdemeanor, in connection with the incident that took place during a Rosh Hashana service at Temple B’rith Kodesh in Brighton on Friday night. 

Avila is accused of causing a disruption by “rambling loudly” at the start of the service inside the synagogue, according to Brighton police. He was detained by police at the scene.

Brighton Police Chief Dave Catholdi said that Avila “is known to law enforcement,” but police cannot comment further on any criminal history.

The incident at Temple B’rith Kodesh was one of three unsettling incidents that occurred at houses of worship in the Rochester region over the weekend, as members of the Jewish community celebrated the Rosh Hashana holiday.

Rosh Hashana, which translates from Hebrew to mean the “head” of the year, is commemorated with special

On Sunday morning, two Jewish congregations received identically worded bomb threats via email. One email threatened Temple Beth-El in Geneva, Ontario County, and the second threatened Congregation Etz Chaim in Perinton, which worships in the same building that houses Mountain Rise United Church of Christ.

Both buildings were evacuated and searched by police.

The New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force and Federal Bureau of Investigation were both alerted to the threats and will further investigate both bomb threats, said Mark Henderson, regional security director for the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester.