January 18, 2022

The Courage to Act

Dov Ben-Shimon Federation CEO

In the description of his heroic escape with fellow congregants at Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas this weekend, Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker credited their survival with the crisis training he’d received. He specifically noted the Secure Community Network (SCN), a program affiliated with our national Jewish Federation system that provides security resources to Jewish institutions.

Rabbi Cytron-Walker was quoted in The New York Times that the sessions taught him and his fellow congregants that “if you get in this situation, you have to do whatever you can. It gave me the courage and the sensibility to act when we were able.”

Our Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ partners with SCN to provide timely, credible threat and incident information to both law enforcement and community partners, serves as the community’s formal liaison with federal law enforcement, and coordinates closely with state and local law enforcement partners.

Our Community Security Initiative has been working closely with more than one hundred synagogues and partner agencies to develop their own security committees and enhance overall security in their institutions.

Across the community:

  • 73% of institutions have Emergency Operations Procedures and 67% have a committee for security planning
  • 93% believe their organization is better prepared for a security threat because of Jewish Federation
  • 83% always or usually use Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest’s Chief Security Officer as a resource when it comes to security and threats

We don’t know when and where situations like what occurred in Texas on Shabbat will happen. That’s why our Federation is committed to ensuring that our treasured Jewish institutions are as informed and prepared as they can be to deal with crisis situations.

To learn more about the efforts our Community Security Initiative has in place for community partners, visit us at jfedgmw.org/security-safety.