Dear community members,
You may have heard about the series of recent bomb threats targeting Jewish institutions, such as JCCs and others. At least two such threats were received by local partners in the heart of New Jersey.
The Jewish Federation takes these threats, and the safety and wellbeing of our entire community, very seriously. Our thoughts go out to those directly affected by these malicious acts.
The Security Team at the Jewish Federation was in touch with colleagues at our local partners immediately following each threat, as well as with the Secure Community Network (a security initiative supported by Jewish Federations of North America) and local law enforcement. Prior to yesterday’s bomb threats, the Federation had warned about such risks through our network of community security contacts - one of these affected partners had an instruction sheet for bomb threats next to their phones as a result - and we recently ran a training on emergency response planning as part of our ongoing training series.
Because of growing concern about security threats and hate targeted against Jews (and others) during the past few years, we have been focused on and prioritizing security preparedness in our community, including enhancing relationships with law enforcement, offering several targeted training sessions, helping local partners secure 18 capital improvement grants from the Department of Homeland Security totaling more than $1Million in the Heart of NJ, as well as just announcing 15 targeted matching grants for basic improvements for partners provided by our Jewish Federation.
The Jewish Federation intends to expand these efforts in the future, so that we can enable our community to be as safe and secure as possible. We are also expanding our efforts with partners to work with youth and law enforcement to counter bias and find effective mechanisms to educate about and against hate.
We wish we didn't have to issue a statement like this, but sadly concerns about security and terrorism have become more frequent in our community – and these recent incidents most likely won’t be the last such threats we face. We can also better appreciate some of the challenges faced by our extended family in Israel, as they have been dealing with terrorist threats for years.
The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey is committed to helping Jews in need, wherever and whenever that might be, and ensuring the well-being of our Jewish community. As with any family, we are stronger when we stand together and help each other. We stand with our partners today and all innocent victims of hatred and terror. While we wish we could live in a world devoid of these threats, we will do our utmost to counter them and to work with our partners to emerge a more connected and vibrant community.
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