On Wednesday, May 17th, our Federation’s Community Security Initiative (CSI) held its fifth annual Safety and Security Conference. This year’s program brought together a host of professionals from the Jewish community and law enforcement.
Attended by nearly 100 leaders from local synagogues, schools, and Jewish organizations, the conference kicked off with opening remarks from our Director of Community Security, Jason Periard. The Federation’s Chief Operating and Financial Officer Ivan Wolkind also took the podium, offering a background on the importance of the conference and its ability to get our Jewish leaders and law enforcement professionals together.
The keynote address was given by Nada Bakos, former CIA Analyst and Chief Targeting Officer responsible for tracking Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, the former head of Al-Qaeda In Iraq. Mrs. Bakos’ presentation took the audience through her efforts as an analyst in tracking down some of the world’s most-wanted terrorists. Furthermore, she provided valuable insight on terror groups such as ISIL (ISIS) and Al Qaida, speaking from her personal experience researching, analyzing, and targeting the leaders of these groups over many years.
Following Mrs. Bakos’ impactful brief, participants dispersed to several available security workshops. Sessions included:
- Verbal De-Escalation Techniques with Special Agent Jeffrey Cugno from the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office
- Hostile Vehicle Attacks with former LAPD Officer Mr. Ralph Morten and Former BHPD Officer Mr. Walt Jordan
- Your Digital Footprint with the Deputy Director of the Orange County Intelligence Analysis Center
- Executive Director’s “Round Table” with Federation COO/CFO Ivan Wolkind and Federation’s Director of Community Security Jason Periard
The afternoon closed with a special intelligence briefing provided by Supervisory Special Agent Maury Bas, Deputy Principal Director, Joint Regional Intelligence Center (JRIC) and Mr. Michael Burge of the National Counterterrorism Center.
Through these interactive break-out sessions, leaders from different organizations got to know one another, learn from each other, and gain important skills that will ultimately help our Jewish community better prepare for emergency situations that may arise.
This annual conference is just one of the many ways our Federation’s Community Security Initiative is keeping our local Jewish community safe and up to date on best practices for emergency situations.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles launched CSI in 2012 in response to a growing need for a “boots-on-the-ground” entity that would exist as a clearinghouse for all security-related matters affecting the Jewish community — a single point of contact for critical incident coordination, information and intelligence sharing, safety and security training and resources. CSI has filled this need and more for our Jewish community, working together with local, state and federal agencies to assure the safety of all Jewish Los Angeles.