Since the deeply troubling events in Charlottesville and the equally troubling reaction and aftermath, I have received an understandable increase in distressed and anxious e-mails. I know that anxiety will grow in the days ahead as many of us have children who are back in school and most of us will be going to one of our community’s inspiring synagogues for the High Holidays.
Several years ago, our Federation saw a need and, in response, created CSI, the Community Security Initiative. We made your safety and security and that of all our synagogues and institutions a top priority.
As a result, despite the recent events, the rise of anti-Semitism, and acts of terror here and abroad, CSI is looking out for you and your family.
Here is what our Federation has already accomplished:
- We launched Project Safe Classroom, which provides specially-designed backpacks to classrooms with supplies that trained teachers can use to keep our children safe. Lives can be protected and saved when a teacher can secure the classroom while awaiting help from law enforcement.
- We have initiated a community-wide early warning system.
- We launched our Personnel Resiliency Training course; nearly 250 communal professionals have been trained and are now prepared to recognize and report pre-incident indicators critical to site security.
- We created Shabbos Link, a threat alert device to protect Jewish institutions that prohibit the use of electronics on Shabbat and the High Holidays.
- We have conducted over 300 site visits to increase security and created an extensive communal institution database covering over 1,400 square miles. CSI is the only non-law enforcement entity trained and authorized by the Department of Homeland Security to use their system and methodology to provide the highest level of security to our Jewish community.
- We know that our local college and university campuses will face new challenges. Please be assured that we are working closely with our campus partners to support our students and ensure their safety.
CSI is an example of how our Federation is leading our community during these troubling times. We understand your concerns and we will continue to be proactive in addressing our greatest challenges.
I wish us all a peaceful Shabbat,
President & CEO