Since Jewish Federations launched LiveSecure last year, the number of Jewish communities in North America that have security programs has increased by 42%. The announcement was made this afternoon at the opening plenary of The General Assembly, Jewish Federations annual gathering that kicked off today in Chicago with 1,200 Jewish communal leaders.
Since the launch of the $130 million LiveSecure initiative, the largest security campaign in the history of the North American Jewish community, the total number of Jewish communities that have comprehensive security programs increased from 45 to 64.
“At the time of the Tree of Life shootings, only a smattering of communities had professional community security initiatives, but since the launch of the LiveSecure initiative, things have gotten better,” said Jewish Federations Board Chair Julie Platt. “It’s incredible to see LiveSecure in action, making our communities safer every day, even as antisemitism and hate are on the rise.”
New security programs have been launched in San Diego, Houston, Birmingham, Rockland County and Jacksonville, among other cities. Existing initiatives have grown in their strength and scope as well.
LiveSecure pledges to protect every single Jewish community in the U.S. and Canada through a grant issued by Jewish Federations of North America, with matching funds raised by the local Federation. Funds go towards implementing a professionally led, comprehensive Communal Security Initiatives (CSI) and active-shooter security training and enhancing them where they already exist, as well as to advocacy and training to access government funding. Each Federation works closely with the Jewish Federations of North America and the Secure Community Network (SCN), the organization Jewish Federations established to secure the American Jewish community in the aftermath of 9/11.
Community Security Initiatives across North America have saved countless lives and thwarted a multitude of potential threats against the Jewish community. Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker credited the training he received to saving his life during the hostage crisis in the Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville.
In addition to LiveSecure, Jewish Federations advance security through advocacy activities. Since 2004, Jewish Federations have advocated for the vital Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP), which helps bolster the physical security of Jewish communities by funding communal building reinforcements and access controls, CCTV systems and more. Jewish Federations played a lead role in advancing a proposed increase in funding to the program, from $250 million to $360 million in FY 2023.