Our Collective Security

Two weeks ago, Jewish communities around the world witnessed the strength and resilience that comes with preparation for an emergency. Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker has since credited his ability to react under immense pressure to his training by security experts. In Greater Washington, The Jewish Federation is committed to ensuring our community members and institutions are equally prepared for a crisis.

Those of you who joined our security webinar earlier today had the opportunity to hear more about our work in this space from Secure Community Network (SCN) National Director & CEO, Michael Masters, as well as Federation and SCN’s Regional Security Advisor, Robert Graves, on the national and local security landscape. I extend my gratitude to Michael and Robert for their expert guidance on the subject, and to Temple Rodef Shalom’s Rabbi Amy Schwartzman, who thoughtfully represented our local clergy and community members on this issue. The full webinar recording will be made available in the coming days.

As we look ahead, I want to underscore 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 doubling the Federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program 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. I am very proud of what Federation and our partners have accomplished over the past two years from assessing the security of many local facilities, to securing millions in government security grant funding and providing security training to thousands of community leaders and members across Greater Washington. You can learn more about how we help keep our community secure here. None of this would be possible without your support, and I am deeply grateful for your help in ensuring this vital work can continue.

Together, we will continue to combat antisemitism, strengthen and sustain organizational security across the region, and build a safe, secure, and vibrant Jewish future in Greater Washington. Thank you for continuing to engage in and support these efforts.

Shabbat Shalom,

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