JSHIELD: Security by The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington

If there is an immediate threat or on-going act of violence call 911.

In the face of increasing antisemitism and emboldened acts of hate-fueled violence, The Jewish Federation continues to invest significant resources to enhance the Jewish community’s safety and security. Federation’s security program, JShield, was created to better monitor and improve the security posture of our community, as well as offering a range of security training programs and safety assessments for Jewish organizations in the Greater Washington area.

Services include:

To update or provide your organization’s point of contact, please complete this form.

To reach a member of our JShield Security team, email [email protected] or call (301) 230-7275.

JShield Security Services

Services are provided at no cost to Jewish institutions in Greater Washington.

Security Grant Support Services

JShield is here to serve all of your security grant writing needs. See our Grant Support Services page for information about the upcoming federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP).

Security Consultations and Assessments

The first step in making our community safer is to make the places in which we regularly gather safer. It is important to assess the security needs of each facility within our community, as any given building has its own security concerns that we can help address. Target Hardening of a facility can be accomplished in various ways. We do not need to turn our buildings into fortresses, and we will discuss inexpensive ways to secure your building. These assessments are free of charge and also will assist in your applications for security grants.

Please take the time to schedule a consultation with the Federation security team. The assessment will be a thorough walk-through and discussion of security concerns you may have.

Safety and Security Trainings

JShield offers an array of trainings that are customized to fit your organization’s needs. See the offerings below and submit your request:

+ Situational Awareness training

Join us to master the art of situational awareness – a skill that not only enhances personal safety but is also the foundation of creating a secure and resilient community. A vital resource for anyone seeking to elevate their awareness and responsiveness in various environments. Empowers individuals to recognize and understand signs of suspicious activity and the potential impact on themselves and those around them.

+ Run Hide Fight - Countering Active Threats

This training provides participants with an understanding of active threats and potential response options. The goal is to teach a protection strategy for community members who might not otherwise know what to do during an unexpected act of violence wherever it may occur. We recommend a walk-through and drill at a later date.

+ Stop the Bleed (STB)

This hands-on workshop focuses on empowering individuals to take immediate action when faced with severe bleeding injuries, the most common and preventable cause of death after injury. Learn essential techniques such as wound packing, proper tourniquet application, and effective compression methods. This training equips you with the knowledge and confidence to make a difference in critical moments.

+ Specialized Presentations and Instruction

Our Security team can develop presentations and training on other safety and security topics to address your organization’s needs. Contact the team to discuss your specialized training request.

+ Drills and Exercises

Safety, security, and emergency preparedness plans need to be tested and practiced to ensure they will be effective and that everyone understands their role in the plan. Our Security team can help you plan and conduct drills and tabletop exercises of your plans.

In partnership with our friends at Community Security Service (CSS), JShield also offers the following additional trainings: (Watch this short video to learn more about CSS)

+ Entry Point

Entry Point is an introductory training course open to any Jewish institution that wants to empower its members to gain security awareness and learn basic security procedures. This is a live one-hour training delivered over Zoom or in person with a CSS instructor. The training incorporates the institution’s specific geographic, operational, and denominational context and is tailored to be made available to the entire membership. Participants gain practical skills to recognize threats and keep their institution secure. They also learn the importance of volunteers as part of any security plan.

+ Usher and Greeter Training

This training is designed for synagogues that want to provide formal training on basic security procedures to their volunteer ushers and greeters. This is a live one-hour training delivered over Zoom or in person with a CSS instructor. Ushers and greeters are the first representatives that congregants and guests encounter when entering a synagogue, and they should be welcoming and create a sense of belonging. Additionally, they are in a unique position to identify suspicious behaviors. This training session aims to equip these volunteers with practical skills to recognize threats to the Jewish community.

+ CSS Synagogue

This is our flagship volunteer team program, which trains a select group of community members in professional-level security routines, including access control, search and sweep, and lockdown and evacuation procedures. Volunteers go through four hours of online training followed by a three-hour in-person practical certification delivered at their institution. Volunteers participate in regular security shifts at their institution and receive weekly support, guidance, and continuing education from CSS professional staff.

+ ROAM

This training provides young professionals the opportunity to serve as security volunteers by going through rigorous recruitment and training. ROAM training includes all available CSS Synagogue training, including higher level security training, as well as components on event security and basic self-defense. After graduating, ROAM volunteers can effectively protect community events or supplement CSS Synagogue teams that need additional support (e.g., during the High Holidays, Purim carnivals, Israel festivals). Participants do not need to be a member of an existing synagogue or Jewish institution.

Federation’s Security Strategy

JShield, the security division of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, strives to assist the Jewish community in the National Capital Region in establishing a culture of security through increased awareness, preparedness, and resiliency. We are focused on four primary risk management practices: awareness, facility security enhancements (target hardening), safety and security training, and law enforcement liaison.

+ Awareness

The Jewish Federation partners with national and local organizations that serve the safety and security of the Jewish community, including the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (JCRC), Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Secure Community Network (SCN), and the Community Security Service (CSS). Through these partnerships, the Greater Washington Jewish community is available to receive 24-hour threat monitoring, intelligence analysis, and further security and preparedness training. Federation maintains regular contact with local Jewish organizations to provide safety and security resources and updates about the local impact of recent events and news. JShield also maintains an emergency contact list to support the management of local incidents.

+ Facility Security Enhancements (target hardening)

The foundation of a successful security program begins with an assessment of an institution or organization’s current security posture. Federation’s advisement includes meeting with the organization’s leadership to identify needs and developing a roadmap towards building a strong safety and security posture and culture. Our team also conducts formal security assessments to support security planning and applications for federal, state, and local government grant funding.

+ Safety and Security Training

One of the most effective, no-cost measures to enhance an organization’s safety and security posture is training its members, staff, and others in. These classes are customized to meet the needs of each organization, build personal confidence, preparedness, and resilience in the face of a crisis or emergency, and begin the development of a safety and security culture in the community.

+ Law Enforcement Liaison

Federation’s security team maintains ongoing relationships with local law enforcement to better serve our community. We support local law enforcement agencies’ initiatives, provide outreach to foster relationships, and offer regular training for both officers and our community members by law enforcement to allow smooth information sharing. In times of a crisis, these relationships are vital, and we are here to support any Jewish institution’s needs, advocate to local law enforcement on behalf of the Jewish community and ensure law enforcement have open lines of communication to protect our community. These relationships are enhanced by opportunities to invite law enforcement agency partners into the community to participate in our community’s events.

Meet Federation’s JShield Team

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Russell H. “Rusty” Rosenthal
Executive Director, Community Security

Rosenthal most recently served as Vice President, Security, and Law Enforcement for ADL, and joins Federation with 25 years of investigative, executive leadership, and legal experience with the FBI, including in Israel, where he led the FBI office from 2019-2022.

Rosenthal has an extensive operational background in high-risk, complex environments, and has led diverse teams in investigating cyber, counterterrorism, criminal, as well as internal investigations. This expertise, coupled with his significant experience in evaluating security vulnerabilities, conducting risk assessments, and developing risk mitigation plans will be a tremendous asset to the Greater Washington community and Federation.

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Shay Halevi
Deputy Director, Community Security

Shay’s career began as an IDF Lieutenant in the Landmines and Explosive Unit, progressing to Master Sergeant in the Israeli Special Police Force (Lahav 433), specializing as an undercover detective. Over a decade, he gained experience in offensive and defensive training, developing a comprehensive skill set for real-time combat Participating in joint operations with Israeli intelligence, including ISA, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mossad, Shay excels in field and urban warfare, threat assessment, and investigation. Now, with the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, he brings extensive experience, dedicating years to diverse roles within the Jewish community. As the former Security Director at CESJDS, Shay ensured community safety, showcasing proficiency. His professional journey transitioned seamlessly to the United States, where he assumed pivotal security roles in local synagogues. A Bar Ilan University graduate in Social Studies majoring in Criminology and Penology, Shay combines academic knowledge with practical expertise.

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Dr. Adam Bronstone
Grant Specialist

Dr. Adam Bronstone has worked in the Jewish communal field for two decades, including several federations in the United States and Canada. During this time, he has had community relations and security-related responsibilities, including working with law enforcement, conducting security assessments, and helping Jewish organizations apply for and receive federal and state security grants for needed security enhancements. Adam has also worked with Jewish organizations in the post-award management of security grants phase. Adam has a doctorate in political science and is well-versed in security-related issues, including the rise and current state of antisemitism and hate crimes in general.