New Security Training Program Launched

Much has been said about the recent terror attack at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, TX – most of all, how grateful we all are that the four hostages got out safely. In addition, it is important to know Rabbi Cytron-Walker says security training from Secure Community Network (SCN) prepared the group to act and flee when the situation presented itself. 

“In Monmouth and Greater Middlesex counties, Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ and its partners like SCN bring security training to synagogues and Chabads, schools, camps, JCCs, and cultural centers, e.g., Chhange, Axelrod, Rutgers Hillel, and many more -- routinely and free of charge, training nearly 300 leaders and countless more community members multiple times each year,” said Susan Antman, Executive Director. 

Now, Antman says, Jewish Federations of North America and long-time partner, SCN, together, encourage all in the community to attend the national online kickoff of a new training program, BeAware: An Introduction to Situational Awareness -- THURSDAY, JANUARY 27, at 1:00 PM ET. REGISTER HERE

SCN is a security arm of Jewish Federations and other major Jewish organizations in North America. In the aftermath of the attack on Temple Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, SCN announced the release of the new BeAware training designed for all members of the Jewish community. The training will provide attendees with an improved ability to recognize suspicious behavior and criminal activity, guidance on how to report it, and strategies to protect themselves and others from violence.

BeAware is an interactive training course that can be delivered either online or in-person. BeAware is available to all members of the Jewish community; no background in security is required. The course is designed to improve the ability of members of the Jewish community to recognize and react to dangerous situations in their everyday lives – from going to synagogue and dropping off children off at school, to going to the gas station or an ATM.

The training teaches best practice techniques on how to observe, report, and react to suspicious behavior, evaluate threats, and “commit to action” in dangerous situations. Participants will learn to distinguish between different situations, from individuals with mental health issues to civil unrest, and learn when something needs to be reported.

Designed with the community by security professionals with experience in training thousands of members of the Jewish community, as well as law enforcement both in the United States and abroad, the training is for everyone – from parents to professionals, and from receptionists to rabbis.


“As we saw in Texas, we cannot pick the time and date of the next incident that will impact our community, but we can choose to prepare,” said Michael Masters, CEO of SCN. “A critical component of preparing is training, and this training will provide crucial skills the Jewish community needs to stay safe. I hope every synagogue and Jewish facility in the United States will participate.”

Antman added, “As Federation continues investing in security and combating antisemitism while caring for those who are vulnerable and nurturing Jewish life for today and our children's tomorrows, may we all be safe, send prayers of healing to anyone impacted by antisemitic violence, and know peace.”

For questions about security in Monmouth and Greater Middlesex counties, contact


The Secure Community Network (SCN), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, is the official homeland safety and security initiative of the organized Jewish community in North America. Founded in 2004, under the auspices of The Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, SCN serves as the central organization dedicated exclusively to the safety and security of the American Jewish community, working across 146 Federations, 50 partner organizations, over 300 independent communities as well as with other partners in the public, private, non-profit and academic sectors. SCN is dedicated to ensuring that Jewish organizations, communities, as well as life and culture can not only exist safely and securely, but flourish.


Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey empowers partners and programs throughout Monmouth and Greater Middlesex counties to make Jewish life stronger and safer while caring for people in need and investing in a strong and joyful Jewish future for generations to come.



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