Nearly 200 leaders of Chicago-area synagogues, day schools, agencies, summer camps, and other institutions attended a JUF Security Summit this week to learn about current security threats and preparedness.
Participants, representing about 80 community facilities, also learned of a new JUF matching grant program, which will provide annual grants of $10,000-$50,000 to enhance security at qualifying local Jewish organizations. The details of the grants and the online application process will be follow soon, so that funding for enhanced security measures can begin this spring.
Summit participants, who had completed surveys about their institutions' risk exposure and needs, also heard from JUF security, planning, and funding personnel, as well as from FBI and Department of Homeland Security officials.
JUF's traditional communal security roles include facilitating security audits of local Jewish facilities; convening security seminars; sponsoring senior Chicago Police commander missions to Israel; coordinating with every federal, state, and local law enforcement agency; helping secure $14 million in capital grants from the Department of Homeland Security; Investing millions throughout the Federation network for security operational expenses (non-capital); and helping establish and fund, on the national level, the Secure Community Network, which links all 200-plus North American Jewish communities into a coordinated security alert and assistance mechanism.
JUF Executive Vice President Jay Tcath
looks at today's Jewish security concerns in the context of the past
and explains how JUF is playing a role in addressing them.