A Northern Virginia Update: Individual and Communal Safety and Security

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington is committed to keeping our entire Greater Washington Jewish community safe and secure. Following the horrendous incident in Colleyville TX, Federation held a community webinar on security in our region. The program detailed Federation’s security work alongside our partners at the Secure Community Network (SCN). This was followed by a thoughtful Q&A with SCN CEO, Michael Masters, SCN’s Regional Security Advisor, Robert Graves, and Rabbi Amy Schwartzman of Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, Northern Virginia. I am grateful for Rabbi Schwartzman’s participation, sharing her leadership and guidance not just to her congregation, but across NOVA, and to all of Greater Washington.

The full webinar recording is below, and we encourage you to share it with your networks.

Watch it again or share the recording with a friend.

Looking ahead, I would like to share some of the immediate steps all of us can take to further our individual and communal safety and security.

Connect with your organizational leaders:

  • If you belong to or regularly frequent a synagogue or other Jewish institution, inquire about their security strategy and ask about their relationship with local law enforcement.
  • If they’re not already connected, encourage your leaders to contact Federation and SCN’s Regional Security Advisor, Robert Graves, to request a consultation or a security assessment and learn about available safety, security, and preparedness training. This support is wholly subsidized by Federation’s allocation of security funding and available to all organizations.

Speak out:

  • Contact your members of Congress to advocate for them to double Federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) funding this year.
  • Learn more about the LiveSecure campaign—a national Federation effort to advance the security and safety of Jewish communities.
  • Contact your senators and petition them to confirm Professor Deborah Lipstadt to serve as the U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism.

Every member of our community deserves the right to engage in Jewish communal life proudly, publicly, and safely, without fear. From security training, to accessing crucial grant funding, to deepening our relationships with local law enforcement, I am proud of what Federation and our partners have accomplished in our community.

In my last update, I mentioned the crucial funding received by five NOVA organizations awarded by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services to minimize bias-motivated incidents. Assistance accessing grant money for security is just one of the ways Federation, SCN, and The Jewish Community Relations Council keep the entire Greater Washington Jewish community region safe and prepared for emergencies.

Our NOVA Jewish community is undoubtedly safer thanks to these collaborations and would not be possible without your support.

Anne Greenspoon
Northern Virginia Field Manager
The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington