No sanctuary, whether it is in Christchurch, Sri Lanka, or Poway should be desecrated by bloodshed, hatred, or gun violence. No person should be targeted because of their faith. No Jew should feel afraid to enter a synagogue on Shabbat and pray.
This week we mark Yom HaShoah, which calls on us to remember how unchecked anti-Semitism led to the darkest time in our collective modern history. Never forget and never again are not just words — they are a communal call to action.
Immediately after the attack, the Secure Community Network (SCN), the national homeland security initiative supported by UJA through the Jewish Federations of North America, was on the ground in Poway. As in Pittsburgh, SCN will support the local community and provide whatever resources are needed.
As we continue to maintain heightened awareness and vigilance to keep our communities and organizations safe, earlier today we shared these UJA-supported resources with our nonprofit partners, including Jewish community centers, day schools, and synagogues. We encourage you to share these resources so that together we can keep our communities more secure.
Resources Provided to Nonprofit Partners
Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY)
JCRC-NY is the central coordinator for the security of Jewish organizations in the New York metropolitan area. With funding from UJA and additional support from The Paul E. Singer Foundation, JCRC-NY is making security assessments available to all Jewish organizations in New York. Organizations that invest in professional assessments are significantly more likely to receive government funding than those that do not. Apply Now for a free security assessment so that you can immediately start safeguarding your synagogue. Read here for more information or contact David Pollock.
JCRC-NY has provided the following guidelines on security protocol:
- Connect with police. Give schedules of all of your services and events to your local precinct. The more they know, the better they can protect you.
- Step up your game. The recent Department of Homeland Security publication, Mass Gatherings: Security Awareness for Soft Targets and Crowded Places, can be a helpful template for your security-planning process.
- Seek relevant resources. Here are additional security resources, including pages dedicated to active shooter plans, bomb threats, and access control policies.
- Apply for a federal security grant — DEADLINE MAY 8! The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Nonprofit Security Grant Program deadline is fast approaching. See further details here.
Hebrew Free Loan Society (HFLS)
Interest-free bridge loans of up to $150,000 for security infrastructure upgrades are now available to your organization. These loans, made possible with funding from UJA and additional support from The Paul E. Singer Foundation, are for Jewish communal organizations in New York City’s five boroughs, Westchester, and Long Island to enhance their capacity to prepare, prevent, and respond to terrorist attacks and other security threats. Organizations may use the loans for planning, equipment, training, and physical infrastructure improvements, regardless of whether they have been awarded a government security grant for this purpose.
Community Security Service (CSS)
CSS offers training and support to develop volunteer security capabilities for your organization, including security committees, plans, and security teams.
For questions or information on upcoming training and support, contact email@example.com.
Jewish Education Project
Jewish Education Project provides a compendium of resources from many organizations for both parents and educators on how to speak with children, teens, and families in the wake of tragedy.
Additional Resources from UJA-Federation
- A webinar recorded 11/28/18 after the Pittsburgh shooting featuring speakers Dubbs Weinblatt (Keshet) and Ilana Kaufman (Jews of Color Field Building Initiative) focused on balancing security with our values of being welcoming and inclusive to all.
- A video conference recorded 3/18/19 after the New Zealand attacks with Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum (Congregation Beit Simchat Torah) and Rabbi Bob Kaplan (JCRC-NY) to learn about how to organize support for your local Muslim community.
As we seek to protect our Jewish institutions, let us also continue to stand together with all faith communities, as violence and hatred against one is against all. Reach out to your local Jewish Community Relations Council for guidance on how to initiate or get connected to interfaith work in your community.