As the High Holidays approach, we’re announcing a new investment of $4 million over two years to enhance the physical security of the approximately 2,000 Jewish institutions in the New York area. 

For years UJA has been involved with supporting the security of the Jewish community, working primarily with our partner, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC-NY). But today we face a new reality. 

In the aftermath of Pittsburgh and Poway, and recognizing an alarming increase in anti-Semitic incidents in New York, we’re significantly upgrading New York’s security infrastructure to further protect our Jewish institutions and all who go through their doors. Working with experts in the field, we’ve designed a community-wide plan to provide critical resources, training, and equipment.

We’re grateful to be joined in this urgent effort by The Paul E. Singer Foundation, Carolyn and Marc Rowan, and other generous philanthropists.

Funding will be directed in the following ways:

Locally Based Security Directors
We’re expanding the team of professionals overseeing community security by adding six additional directors. 

Under the auspices of JCRC and the Westchester Jewish Council, the team of security directors will be based in Long Island, Westchester, Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. They will work directly with synagogues, schools, and other Jewish and local law enforcement, providing hands-on, targeted support. Specifically, this team will:

1.  Provide Training — Develop and offer appropriate trainings based on identified needs.

2.  Obtain Government Funding — Assist organizations with qualifying for and procuring government security grants. 

3.  Access Emergency Funding — Facilitate bridge loans to organizations that have immediate needs while they wait for government-issued grants. 

4.  Work with Law Enforcement — Liaise with local law enforcement to provide security as needed. 

5.  Coordinate Existing Resources Partner nationally with the Secure Community Network (SCN) and locally with the Community Security Service (CSS). 

Camp Security
We’re also creating a new position to support the specific security needs at New York’s Jewish day camps and residential camps. Working with SCN and the Foundation for Jewish Camp, this professional will manage training programs and share best practices for keeping our campers and campgrounds safe.

Jewish Community Security Notification System
We’re enhancing a communication system to connect all Jewish institutions in New York, allowing for real-time notifications and alerts as needed. Learning from other communities that have systems like these, we’re optimizing our model for New York.

Many of our community’s institutions already have security services and protocols in place. These initiatives will be available both to them and the hundreds of organizations that currently lack sufficient resources. As this work unfolds, we’ll provide updates and information. Our hope is that this strategic investment will allow Jews across the region, and people of all faiths, to feel both welcome and secure in our communal spaces.

With the High Holidays before us — a time for new beginnings — we pray that the coming year will bring much health, happiness, and peace for all.

Shanah Tovah