Security Updates & Resources

Security Updated and Resources

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Community Security Enterprise of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington

In 2019, The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington partnered with Secure Community Network (SCN) to enhance our community’s safety, security, and preparedness posture. SCN, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), is the official safety and security organization of the Jewish community in North America. Founded in 2004 under the auspices of The Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, SCN works on behalf of 146 federations, the 50 largest Jewish nonprofit organizations in North America, and over 300 independent communities as well as with other partners in the public, private, nonprofit, and academic sectors to ensure the safety, security, and resiliency of the Jewish people.

On January 28, 2022, shortly following the incident at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, TX, Federation CEO, Gil Preuss, hosted a community webinar on security in Jewish Greater Washington featuring National Director & CEO of SCN, Michael Masters; Rabbi Amy Schwartzman of Temple Rodef Shalom; and Robert Graves, Federation’s and SCN’s Regional Security Advisor to the National Capital Area. All three shared their unique and important perspectives on security in our region and outlined how we can continue to keep Jewish Greater Washington safe and secure.

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

Federation and SCN continue to work diligently to ensure our community is safe and secure. Over the last two years, we’ve accomplished a number of important tasks that have kept our community members and organizations prepared in case of an emergency. They include:

  • SCN conducted 20 facility security assessments across Greater Washington.
  • With assistance from Robert Graves and SCN, 27 community organizations were awarded $3.46M in Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) grants (up from 19 awardees and $1.75 million in 2020).
    • From 2020 to 2021, awarded organizations increased by 40% and the total award for per grant nearly doubled.
    • 51 community organizations applied for NSGP grants, up from 30 in 2020, a 60% increase.
  • SCN conducted 70 trainings for 2,050 people at synagogues, Jewish Day Schools. JCCs, Early Childhood Centers, and Day and Overnight Camps, including:
    • 12 Countering Active Threat Trainings for 558 people.
    • 4 Situational Awareness trainings for 322 people.
    • 43 Weekly Community Security Calls on safety, security, and preparedness topics for professional and lay leaders of community organizations.
  • Federation convened the region’s first ever Communal Security Committee to engage all parts of the Greater Washington-area Jewish community on security concerns, needs, and best practices.

Community Security Services

Our Security team provides services to community institutions to enhance their safety, security, and emergency preparedness posture. These services are provided free of charge to non-profit Jewish community institutions, including synagogues, day schools, JCCs, and Jewish service organizations.

Security Advice and Consultation: The foundation of a security program begins with an assessment of an institution or organization’s current security posture. Our Security team can advise and coach the institution through that process. The team will meet with the organization’s leadership to identify needs and to develop a roadmap towards building a strong safety and security posture and culture. Our team also conducts formal Threat, Vulnerability, and Risk Assessments (TVRAs) to support security planning and applications for grant monies from federal, state, and local governments for security enhancements.

Contact us to request a consultation or a security assessment.

 

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 situational awareness, Active Threat Response, and Greeter-Usher practices. These classes, and others, customized to 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 organization.

Find more information on safety, security, and preparedness training offered.

 

Information Sharing: Nationally, SCN maintains a Duty Desk with an on-call Analyst available to Jewish community leaders and government partners. The Duty Desk provides 24-hour threat monitoring, intelligence analysis, and liaison with local, state, and federal agencies. Locally, our Security team operates SCN Alert, a state-of-the-art emergency communications platform that allows them to provide vital, timely information to staff, community institutions, and partners through SMS and email notifications to subscribers.

Individual community members can subscribe to SCN’s Daily Update of security related news.

Subscribe your organization’s primary and secondary points of contact for safety and security matters to SCN Alert.

Find additional safety, security, and preparedness resources.

Our Community Security Team

Our team consists of a Regional Security Advisor (RSA), who also serves as the Security Director for The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, and a Deputy Regional Security Advisor (D/RSA), who also serves as Campus Security Coordinator for the Jewish community campus in Rockville, MD.

Robert Graves headshot

About the Regional Security Advisor

Robert Graves joined SCN in October 2019 as Regional Security Advisor for the National Capital Region, encompassing Washington, DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia, advising Jewish organizations and institutions in the area. In this role, Robert also serves as Director of Security for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.

Robert came to SCN from The MITRE Corporation, where he was a Program Manager and Principal Advisor for counterintelligence, law enforcement, and cybersecurity for U.S. government clients.

Robert brings with him experience and expertise developed over a 35-year career focused on security and counterintelligence matters, within the U.S. military, law enforcement, and the intelligence community. A U.S. Army veteran, he spent 22 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, assigned to the Atlanta Division, FBI Headquarters, and the Houston Division, and specializing in counterintelligence, counterproliferation, counterterrorism, and undercover operations. He was also member of the Behavioral Analysis Program team, developing investigative and interrogation strategies and conducting risk of violence assessments in support of National Security investigations. Robert retired from the FBI in 2017, as a Supervisory Special Agent.

As a U.S. Army Military Intelligence Officer, Robert served in Germany, at Fort Bragg, NC, and in Italy. He is also a Desert Shield/Desert Storm veteran.

Eddy Azcarate Headshot

About the Deputy Regional Security Advisor

Eduardo (Eddy) Azcarate joined the Secure Community Network (SCN) in April 2022 as the Deputy Regional Security Advisor in the National Capital Region for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.

Eddy administers a security program that provides consultations, building, organizational assessments, training and exercises, and threat mitigation to Jewish organizations. His work helps protect schools, daycare centers, synagogues, camps, assisted living facilities, and other centers of Jewish life.

Before joining the Secure Community Network, Eddy retired as a Master Police Officer with the Fairfax County Police Department in Virginia. He held several positions, including patrol officer, Gang Unit detective, Language Skills Support Unit detective, Motor Squad officer, and two tours in the Public Affairs Office. He is a Certified Crime Prevention Specialist in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is a practitioner of Law Enforcement Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design.

Eddy was born and raised in Fairfax County by first-generation immigrants and is fluent in Spanish. He graduated from Bishop O’Connell High School and enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Eddy holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Old Dominion University and attained the rank of major in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is married and raised his four children a mile from his childhood home.