Introducing JShield, the Security Division of Federation

When I think about the strength and resiliency of our community, I focus on those times when we connect and the spaces that allow us to do so. Moments of celebration, learning, prayer, and reflection all bind us together and provide the foundation for both our present and our future.

For us to have these moments, we must remain committed to the safety and security of our community. As such, Federation has launched JShield, the security division of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. Built on years of experience, JShield will work in close partnership with other organizations across the region and help ensure that every member of our community can continue to engage in vibrant Jewish communal life through enhanced physical security measures as well as greater awareness and preparedness.

JShield has a dedicated team that is expanding Federation’s ability to support local organizations in obtaining critical security funding, providing ongoing training and assessments, and forging additional partnerships locally and across the country to meet the direct needs of our community.

This work is especially vital today. Since October 7th, there has been a significant increase in swatting calls, graffiti, and false bomb threats to Jewish facilities. Nationwide in 2023, 998 swatting or false bomb threat incidents were recorded, up from 115 in 2022 – a 768% leap underscoring the critical importance of proactive measures to safeguard our community.

The security of Jewish Greater Washington is also intimately tied to our goal of ensuring spaces where everyone feels they belong, and where institutions remain welcoming to existing and new audiences reflective of our entire Jewish community. We must, therefore, elevate our openness and broaden the engagement of community members with our desire for greater security. This lies at the core of our commitment and our overall strategy.

Together, we will continue to build a connected, vibrant, and secure Jewish community for all who seek to engage across the region. Thank you for your support of these efforts.

Shabbat Shalom,
Gil Preuss
CEO, The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington