May 1, 2019
- Anti-Semitic Attacks Spike, Killing Most Jews in Decades – Aron Heller
Israeli researchers reported Wednesday that violent attacks against Jews spiked significantly last year, with the largest reported number of Jews killed in anti-Semitic acts in decades, leading to an “increasing sense of emergency” among Jewish communities worldwide. Assaults targeting Jews rose 13% in 2018, according to Tel Aviv University researchers. They recorded nearly 400 cases worldwide, with more than a quarter of the major violent cases taking place in the U.S.
In Germany, there was a 70% increase in anti-Semitic violence. “There is an increasing sense of emergency among Jews in many countries around the world,” said Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress. “It is now clear that anti-Semitism is no longer limited to the far-left, far-right and radical Islamist’s triangle – it has become mainstream and often accepted by civil society.” (AP-Miami Herald)
- How Jewish Organizations Train People to Prevent Shootings – Josefin Dolsten
Michael Masters heads the Secure Community Network, which coordinates security for Jewish organizations across the U.S. and is affiliated with the Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
Masters told JTA: “We have seen an increase in targeting of houses of worship generally, and we have seen an increase in targeting of Jewish houses of worship specifically. That coincides with an increase in anti-Semitic incidents around the United States and around the world, as well as an increase in hate crimes against our community and an increase in threats.” SCN conducts assessments and recommends security strategies tailored to the needs and circumstances of the particular organization.
In addition, the Community Security Service has trained more than 4,000 Jewish volunteers across the U.S. in how to keep their synagogues safe. The CSS focuses on preventive measures by training community members to spot suspicious behavior. Synagogues are encouraged to post trained volunteers at their entrances. “There are a lot of ways they can make themselves safer, it just takes time and commitment,” said CSS executive director Jason Friedman.
When CSS was founded in 2007, the primary threats came from international terrorist groups as well as white supremacist organizations. Now they often come from unaffiliated individuals. As a result, less prominent communities, like Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh or Poway, are more vulnerable. (JTA)