Groups help spread word about security

Groups help spread word about security

Officials assist effort to safeguard institutions

Jewish organizations and state officials are distributing a briefing booklet to state law enforcement officials as part of a national homeland security initiative.

The 35-page briefing gives a history of anti-Semitic attacks and details Jewish observances and potential vulnerabilities. It also makes recommendations for vigilance by police and community members.

The booklet was created by the Secure Community Network, an initiative of the Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Earlier this month, SCN and the NJ State Association of Jewish Federations teamed up with the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness to distribute the briefing to NJ police departments and law enforcement agencies across the state.

Although SCN has shared the document with officials in other states, “New Jersey was the first to present it to every police department in the state. Other states will follow suit, no doubt,” said SCN national director Paul Goldenberg.

The State Association hailed the cooperation between Jewish organizations and law enforcement.

The NJ Jewish community “benefits greatly from these state-of-the-art training sessions and educational and informational materials,” said State Association vice president Mark S. Levenson in a statement. “This is a benchmark model for collaboration among government, nonprofits, and faith-based communities.”

The booklet was accompanied by a letter to police chiefs signed by Goldberger and Edward Dickson, director of NJ OHSP. The objective, according to the letter, is to “provide a basic primer for both law enforcement and Jewish communities to better understand one another” in order “to better protect their communities and institutions.”

“We want to assist law enforcement to better understand the threats against the American-Jewish community,” Goldenberg told NJJN in a phone interview. “The American-Jewish community is not different or foreign; these are American citizens who go to synagogues and JCCs and federations. These buildings are part of the American infrastructure, and because of what may be happening thousands of miles way, some people are looking to attack these buildings for no other reason than political or religious hatred.”

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