It has been a year since JUF launched "Live Secure Chicago," an effort to expand our security expertise and resources to every local Jewish organization.
Informed by increased Jewish security threats and accompanied by an unprecedented volume of requests for help from hundreds of groups, the plan's vision is to ensure that no one is deterred from Jewish communal life because of fear.
Its aspirational goal is that Jewish organizational security decisions be based not on financial considerations but objective security and programmatic considerations.
The major shift in resources will be towards the Jewish groups and facilities not currently under the JUF security umbrella.
In this past year we hired a new head of security and a deputy, conducted hundreds of security audits, consultations, and trainings, and helped develop security plans. To understand our community's strengths and potential vulnerabilities even better, we just completed the most comprehensive and detailed survey we have ever undertaken. The data provides insights of a community widely and deeply concerned about security, with disparate capabilities to address the challenges.
Some of the key, preliminary takeaways:
When asked how JUF can help their unmet security needs:
Among other actions based on this data, JUF will establish a well- informed grants process, provide more grant writing assistance, advocate more smartly for Federal and State funding, better leverage increased security staff, and move forward so that no Jews walks away from communal activities because of fears for their personal, their families, and their community's safety.
Jay Tcath is the Executive Vice President of JUF.