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Training saved lives, in Pittsburgh, Poway and Colleyville!

 Shalom,

The events in Texas last month are a stark reminder that as Jews we face threats every day. The relief that our family members were able to escape unharmed is a testament to the law enforcement officials and security network in place.

The horrifying attack on the Colleyville synagogue on Jan. 15 was a continuation of a troubling and unacceptable trend of attacks on Jewish houses of worship and individuals who are visibly Jewish, incidents of vandalism and arson – some in Richmond – and the antisemitism and online hate that contain implicit threats and can incite such attacks.

The Jewish Community Federation of Richmond, in partnership with the Secure Community Network (SCN), and the Jewish Communities of the Virginia Peninsula and Tidewater, has taken responsibility for developing and implementing comprehensive security plans for Greater Richmond’s Jewish Community.

With our hiring nearly two years ago of Regional Security Director Dave Brackins, we became the first regional security model in the country.

Our partnership with SCN provides unparalleled expertise and support to these efforts, and connects us directly with law enforcement agencies, especially the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.

Of course, we wish incidents like this could be prevented completely, but we know the presence of our Dallas Federation’s Community Security Initiative and the SCN both before the incident and during, made a real and important difference.

We appreciate the FBI thanking and acknowledging the Jewish Federation and SCN at their press briefing immediately after the successful conclusion of the incident, and pledging to work with us throughout the country on the safety of Jewish communities.

Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker also expressed his support of the security training he received in his touching thank you message.

So, where do we go from here and what can you do to support the strengthening of our Community Security Initiative?

Train – Training saved lives, in Pittsburgh, Poway and Colleyville! The RVA Community Security Initiatives provides critical training for agencies, synagogues, and individuals. Sign up today to participate in upcoming Trainings. Plan one for your agency or friends. Contact Dave Brackins at dbrackins@Jewishrichmond.org to learn more! The time you spend will save lives!

Give – To the Annual Campaign and secure the future with an endowment gift.

The JCFR Annual Campaign provides critical infrastructure and support for our Security program.

We have launched LiveSecure in partnership with Richmond Jewish Foundation to raise $1.5 million, to fully fund and endow the Community Security Program for generations to come.

In 2019, after the tragedy at the Tree of Life Synagogue, JCFR made a $70,000 per year investment in communal security by hiring the country’s first Regional Security Advisor.

That investment has resulted in over $1.9 million in security grants to Richmond area organizations, stronger relationships with law enforcement and training and coordination of security throughout the community.

Texas is a reminder that these efforts must be sustained. To learn more, contact Federation at Jewishrichmond.org and give today!

Advocate – Let our voices be heard.

Contact our Virginia U.S. Senators and Congressional Representatives and encourage them to double Congress’ Non-Profit Security Grant funding from $180 million per year to $360 million. And reach out to our Virginia State Delegates and Senators encouraging them to strengthen Holocaust and Genocide Education and the Virginia State Non Profit Security program.

You can also thank Governor Glenn Youngkin for signing Executive Order 8 establishing a Commission to Combat Antisemitism.

Our Jewish Federation was built to provide leadership on challenges for which the only path forward is coordinated, collective action. Security is certainly one such challenge. We will not hesitate, and we will not fail.

To reach out to me, email daniel@jewishrichmond.org.

 

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