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The Jewish Federations of North America
Leadership Briefing
Federations Implement Security Awareness Campaign
February 1, 2012

In an environment of increasingly heightened security concerns, The Jewish Federations of North America's Secure Community Network (SCN) is expanding its national campaign in support of the Department of Homeland Security’s “If You See Something, Say Something ™” awareness program to Jewish Federations across the country.

The Federation-funded initiative, created in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), raises public awareness of signs of terrorism and terrorism-related crime and emphasizes the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper local law enforcement authorities. The initiative marks the first time DHS has teamed up with a faith-based community to address potential security issues.

“If You See Something, Say Something™” was officially expanded to the United Jewish Communities of MetroWest N.J. at a recent media event, where public officials – including N.J. State Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa – discussed how to remain vigilant and strengthen security efforts in the Jewish community. Over the next several months, the campaign will be unveiled at several other Federations, in communities including Northern N.J., Los Angeles, Miami, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Denver and Atlanta, and will expand to additional cities in the future.

The campaign features materials with custom “If You See Something, Say Something ™” campaign posters for Federations, a fact sheet, sample press releases and other marketing materials. SCN will also help Federations promote the campaign materials, collaborate with local agencies and organizations to spread the word about security, and promote safety efforts through the media.

“The ‘If You See Something, Say Something ™' campaign truly empowers our communities to become active participants in a shared homeland security effort and further establishes a culture of security and awareness in Jewish institutions and communities across the country,” said Paul Goldenberg, SCN’s national director. “When crimes of hate and intimidation seek to instill fear, community-based efforts such as this demonstrate a collective response of awareness, vigilance and resolve.”

The “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign expansion with Federations comes in the wake of several recent incidents of violence and hate crimes against the Jewish community, including in northern N.J. Several acts of synagogue vandalism and arson culminated in a Jan. 11 firebomb attack on a rabbi’s residence in Rutherford. Authorities have since charged a suspect in the attack.
 
Amid these incidents, the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey in partnership with JFNA and SCN, has taken a lead role in addressing threats of violence against the Jewish community and ensuring a safe environment for the Federation and local agencies. Following the latest incident, the Federation convened a Jewish leadership security briefing at its offices. The meeting included local law enforcement, local, state and national political leaders, the FBI and Homeland Security, the prosecutor’s office, and officials at local day schools and community organizations.

“Addressing our community’s safety is a six on a one-to-five scale,” said Jason Shames, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey. “The Federation needs to be the central address for an organized effort to bring security to the Jewish community. We need to build coalitions, and show that there is a power in the collective – that we’re all against hate and bias.”

The leaders at the United Jewish Communities of MetroWest N.J. were equally focused on security and implementing the “If You See Something, Say Something ™” campaign, though the community itself was not targeted in the recent attacks.

“This public awareness campaign engages and empowers members of the MetroWest community to contribute to their safety and security,” said David Lentz, CRC chair at MetroWest’s Federation. “Homeland security is everyone’s responsibility. This campaign underscores that homeland security begins with ‘hometown’ security.”

The development of an “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign in partnership with the Jewish community is just one of the latest homeland security programs DHS has partnered on with the Jewish community. Through the Office of Infrastructure Protection, DHS has conducted dozens of assessments, training programs and leadership briefings to ensure Federation and Jewish community leaders across the country are equipped with the knowledge and resources to better secure their institutions and safeguard their communities.

Read more about the initial launch of the initiative between DHS and the Jewish Community.

For more information on the “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign, or to get your community involved in the rollout, please contact Patrick Daly of SCN.

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