To better protect the members of the Jewish community who worship and attend area synagogues, day schools, and other Jewish agencies in Tidewater, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater with support from a Tidewater Jewish Foundation community impact grant, joined with the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond and United Jewish Community of the Virginia Peninsula to partner with Secure Community Network (SCN) to enhance local security programs in 2020.
Secure Community Network, a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization, has served since 2004 as the official homeland security and safety initiative of the organized Jewish community in North America. Established under the auspices of the Jewish Federations of North America (UJFT’s national umbrella agency) and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, SCN works to enhance the safety and security of those within 147 Federations, the 50 largest Jewish non-profit organizations in North America and more than 300 independent Jewish communities.
Through UJFT’s partnership, SCN’s Virginia Regional Security Advisor, David Brackins has spent the past year and a half working with the UJFT’s Community Security Committee, Tidewater synagogues, and agencies, to address the mounting need to make Jewish gathering places more secure and enhance existing security practices. This has included threat assessments, assistance with FEMA’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program, briefings, trainings, and connecting Virginia communities to regularly share best practices.
While the Jewish community breathed a collective sigh of relief that the hostages at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, were released alive and unharmed, the events left Jewish communities across the nation shaken. This latest attack on a Jewish house of worship is a part of an undeniable trend of rising antisemitism in this country, with security implications in every community.
Through Tidewater’s partnership with SCN, UJFT will continue to help the community access increased government security funding for local Jewish organizations and synagogues and remains committed to combating antisemitism and all forms of hatred. Through this partnership, UJFT will continue to provide services to community institutions to enhance their safety, security, and emergency preparedness plans. In addition, UJFT continues to coordinate closely with law enforcement to ensure that community members and institutions remain safe and secure.
To learn more about SCN’s partnership with United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, contact Robin Mancoll at RMancoll@ujft.org.