You can also find out more about the following: a A dimly-lit conference room located on the upper floors of a building a Minute by minute, Chicago Mid-Rise captures an unsettling snapshot of American danger.
Reports from around the country — of gunshots, bomb threats, menacing antisemitic posts — flash across more than a dozen screens. The screens are watched by a half dozen analysts who have backgrounds in military intelligence or private security. These analysts can alert any of the thousands of schools, synagogues and community centres that seem to be under threat. Analysts are often the first ones to contact.
Secure Community headquarters is located here NetworkThe closest thing that American Jewish institutions have to an “official security agency” is this group. Other organizations specialize in Jewish facility security, but none are as comprehensive as the group created by Jewish Federations of North America following 9/11. Over the past five-year period, it has increased exponentially. a Small office a Staff of Five a National organization of 75 staff members located throughout the country.
The murders of eleven worshipers in three different congregations prompted the rapid growth. a A gunman who spewed hate at Tree of Life, the synagogue in Pittsburgh on October 27, 2018 – the deadliest antisemitic incident in American History.
On Tuesday, the trial of the gunman is scheduled to start at the Federal Courthouse in PittsburghThe upcoming. is being held in a A country which will now be less surprised by revelations than they would have been in the past five years, due to mass shootings and instances of antisemitism. White House released last week what they called the “first-ever national antisemitism countering strategy”. It involves multiple agencies and is focused on both training and prevention.
By necessity they are now far more alert.
Mass shootings in Pittsburgh The most comprehensive and ambitious effort to safeguard Jewish life ever undertaken in the United States was then launched. This campaign also raised over $100 million. in federal grants Jewish Federations of North America, which has raised more than $62 millions for Jewish local organizations. ultimate goal Securing “every single Jewish community” On the continent.
There are now 93 Jewish Federations that have full-time Security Directors. a More than fourfold growth in five years.
Eric Fingerhut is the president of J.F.N.A., a local federation that has long talked about security issues with police and mayors. Some have even paid for guards to be placed in schools and at other locations. He said that there has never been a situation where a local federation paid for security guards at schools or other places. “this kind of comprehensive effort to say every institution in every Jewish community needs to be secured and connected to a best-practices operation.”
Secure Community is responsible for a large part of this operation. Network. The group’s senior national security adviser, the man who designed much of the approach that it shares with local federations, is Bradley Orsini, a burly, gregarious former F.B.I. agent. In October 2018 he served as the director of security for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.
“The worst day of my professional career,” Mr. Orsini said in an interview at the group’s headquarters. It was he who had to prepare the community and then it came true. There was another perspective, which is now the basis of his work: If they hadn’t been taught basic tactics of responding to active shooters, Tree of Life could have suffered even more.
“Bad things are going to happen,” Mr. Orsini said. “But we can give ourselves an edge.”
You can also find out more about the following: a According to a March report, Anti-Defamation League, there were 3,700 antisemitic incidents in the United States last year. This is the most in 43-years of tracking. F.B.I. It has been a long time since the F.B.I. also found hate crimes on the riseNearly 2/3 of all hate crimes committed against Jews were motivated by religious hatred.
One of the worst hostage situations in recent years was that at a Texas synagogue In January 2022 a British citizen, apparently radicalized by Islamist extremistsThe. a Rabbi and others held hostage. The hostages escaped unharmed — due in large part, the rabbi said afterward, to the training they had received from the Secure Community Network.
“It’s unfortunate that we’re growing, because the need is unfortunate,” Mr. Orsini said. “Everybody knows it’s not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when and where.”
Orsini started working in the Pittsburgh In 2017, Jewish residents of the city, as well as those in other parts of the country, were noticing a change in national discourse. They noticed the veiled hostility towards immigrants and the dog whistle warnings against “globalist elites.” Many people did not see the imminent danger.
“When Brad started going out to our organizations, he said, ‘Do you get any threatening phone calls?’” Jeff Finkelstein was the president of Finkelstein & Associates. Pittsburgh federation. “And they said, ‘Yes.’ ‘So what do you do?’ ‘We don’t do anything.’”
Mr. Orsini is not Jewish, but he was aware of the dangers of violent racism from his time on the Civil Rights Squad in Pittsburgh’s F.B.I. The F.B.I. a He called for a systematic way to protect Jewish institutions from attacks. “the Pittsburgh model.”
He started by examining closely all the Jewish institutions in the area and making recommendations for security upgrades, such as planning escape routes or installing bulletproof glass. He began by strengthening the ties between local law enforcement agencies and encouraging residents to report signs of hatred activity.
He held over 100 training sessions including two at Tree of Life where in 2017 a Steven Weiss is a congregant who was skeptical about the doctrine of “run, hide, fight.”
“We were just going through the motions,” Then, Mr. Weiss a teacher, recalled. He thought, What’s the point? “Nothing is ever going to happen here.”
The following are some of the ways to get in touch with us. a Synagogue on a rainy morning a Year later, when he heard the gunfire coming from the hall outside the chapel, Mr. Weiss quickly scurried behind to cover his ears. a pew. Then he remembered Mr. Orsini’s words: “Don’t hide in plain sight. You’ve got to get out.” As the gunshots grew closer, he fled from the room.
Training active shooters is no protection against the type of terror which unfolded that day. Weiss says that it was the reason he survived.
Lloyd Myers died in November of that year, after his assault. a Entrepreneur and philanthropist in the health-care industry who was worshipped for a Time at Tree of Life gathered a few dozen people for a Brainstorming sessions are a great way to get ideas flowing.
“I started asking: ‘How could this happen?’” “He said” “I’d ask my family, I’d I ask rabbis, I’d ask people with the Federation. And everybody said, ‘The reality is nobody’s watching our backs.’”
Mr. Myers’s health care technology business had specialized in gathering open-source data and scouring it for patterns or signs of trouble. This expertise was of interest to him. Orsini informed him of the Secure Community Network.
Mr. Myers’s epidemiological approach — of “looking at hate as a virus,” as he described it — has come to fruition in the conference room full of screens at the network’s headquarters.
Much of the analysts’ days are spent plumbing the sewers of the internet, sifting through posts doxxing prominent Jewish people or extolling violence, a One analyst called it a ‘noxious task’ “proactive threat-hunting.”
These channels are monitored by analysts who share with the authorities hundreds of shocking findings, including some that have led to criminal charges. led to arrests. Analysts said, however, that antisemitic extremeism has become more decentralized. a Several years ago, the neo Nazis marching in Charlottesville, 2017 brought mainstream attention to other organized far-right organizations.
White supremacy can be seen in the racist flyers thrown in front yards. It is also evident in small, dissipating rallies and in torrents and vile online chatter. It’s like a scattering of tiny, semi-independent terrorist cells, according to one analyst.
The network has plans to operate a The temporary outpost is a permanent post in the area. Pittsburgh during the shooter’s trial, which will largely revolve around the question of whether he should be put to death.
The network’s director, Michael Masters, a Harvard Law graduate who served as a Marine said many Jewish communities that he spoke to saw the attack. Pittsburgh at first as a Tragic anomaly rather than a Sign a The new normal The shooting happened exactly six months after the first. a Synagogue, Poway, Calif. In which the attacker named the Pittsburgh This notion of an attacker being a source of inspiration was shattered.
“That was the moment where Brad and I saw a shift,” Mr. Masters said. “Even if you got that question still — ‘Well, I don’t know that it’s going to happen here’ — you could say, ‘Pittsburgh, Poway. We’re not going to choose the time and place.’”
Need for a There are some who resist the newfound vigilance. This was something Mr. Weiss discovered when he left Pittsburgh Joined a new congregation in Lebanon, Pa., where he immediately pointed out shortcomings in the synagogue’s security.
The rabbi there, Sam Yolen, said many members readily understood Mr. Weiss’s warnings — particularly the young, who had seen the hate metastasizing online, and the very old, who had lived at a When antisemitism used to be prevalent a Everyday life is a fact
But some, he said — those who had come of age believing that they could live as Jews in America largely unexposed to threats or danger related to their identity — had required more convincing. “People who might have grown up with America’s promise of a white picket fence,” Rabbi Yolen stated that we are learning what he said. “that was the exception. Not the hate that we are experiencing now.”
Last year’s hostage incident in Texas was just one recent example of this new standard. After After an 11-hour standoff, the Rabbi, who recently completed training at Secure Community, was able to calm the situation. NetworkThrow a Chair at the assailant, and give the hostages a Escape is possible. This chair is now on the floor a Low platform at the Chicago Headquarters
It is also known as a Vinyl faded with holes and was stained. This is from Tree of Life.