Headlines this week in online and print newspapers included:
Antisemitic Attacks in New York Are at Highest Level in Decades
Antisemitic incidents in US spiked to record high in 2021, ADL reports
2021 HIGHEST YEAR ON RECORD FOR ANTISEMITIC INCIDENTS IN WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA (this is the title of a report published by the ADL)
These findings reaffirmed for me that the strong planning work and implementation of our Federation’s Jewish Community Security program starting in 2016 was truly prescient. Because of it, we have successfully secured millions of dollars to harden our Jewish communal facilities, advocated for increased government support, advised Jewish organizations and congregations on security policies and procedures, responded through our Community Relations work to antisemitic incidents, developed and continue to manage an incident tracking system, and trained thousands of individuals on security procedures. We are so singularly focused on keeping our Jewish community safe, secure, and open.
When antisemitic fliers were found in Mt Lebanon this past week, the Mt Lebanon police called our Jewish Community Security Director to engage her expertise in their work. You may have read in local media (you can find an example on jewishchronicle.timesofisrael.com) about an arrest of an individual accused of stealing items from homes of Jewish community members. Our Security Director worked hand in hand with local law enforcement on this, as well. The relationships that have been forged and strengthened with local and national law enforcement have never been stronger or more closely aligned.
You should not, in any way, read this and be scared, but rather the polar opposite. You should be reassured, while remaining vigilant, that there is so much happening to keep us safe while each of us stays involved with the richness and beauty of Jewish life. No other organization in the Pittsburgh region does more for security than the Federation and we thank our donors for making it all possible.