JCRC Initiative Provides Jewish Community with Bolstered Security

JCRC Initiative Provides Jewish Community with Bolstered Security

By Yehudit Garmaise

      In preparation for 5782, which is only five and a half weeks away, Adam Berish, Brooklyn’s regional manager for the Community Security Initiative of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) wants shuls, yeshivas, and Jewish community centers to start thinking about what they can do to provide bolstered security this year.

    After the multiple tragic anti-Semitic attacks of 2019 and 2020, the JCRC and the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) created the Community Security Initiative to provide strengthened protection for Jewish communities in eight counties across the five boroughs, Long Island, and Westchester.

      “Just securing doors, windows, and windows is a big deterrent to intruders,” said Mr. Berish, who noted that the doors at both the Tree of Life shul in Pittsburgh and Chabad of Poway, Calif., were “wide open” during the murderous attacks that took place at both shuls in 2019.

    The first step Jewish institutions should take to enhance their security is to assess their current vulnerabilities.

     Brooklynites may request free security assessments of their buildings’ doors, windows, and surveillance systems by e-mailing Mr. Berish, who a 26-year NYPD veteran, for 10 years, served as detective who was a Jewish liaison to three NYPD police commissioners, at [email protected]

    Those outside Brooklyn can arrange for free security assessments on www.jcrcny.org/assessment-request/.

    The JCRC also helps the Jewish community to apply for grants that providing equipment that restrict forced entry, such as surveillance cameras, public address (PA) systems, and enhancements to doors, door frames, windows, and locks.

     Something else that Boro Park institutions can do to bolster their security, is to communicate with their neighborhood coordination officers (NCOs) to request additional police coverage.

    “Yidden should inform their NCOs of the times at which they will be davening and meeting, so that the NYPD can increase its presence during Yom Tov,” Mr. Berish explained.

     In addition, shuls, yeshivas, and community centers can hire off-duty police officers to stand guard at entryways.

    “To be prepared for the high holy days, schools and shuls should take it upon themselves to hire more private, uniformed, and armed security officers, which are called “NYPD Paid Detail,” said Mr. Berish, who explained that readers can do so by e-mailing [email protected]

     Additionally, readers can call the NYPD directly to request hired security detail, but whomever would like extra security for Yom Tov should do so immediately because the process can take many weeks to get approved,” said Martin DeSilva, the NYPD’s principal administrative associate.

     Mr. DeSilva, who can be contacted can be reached at (718) 312-4618, is the person to contact to hire security, which depending on the rank of the officers, costs $45.10 to $62.70 per hour.

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