Please Be Aware
There have been a media reports relative to the war in Israel, and it is hard to determine what is credible and what is not. There are two items that are legitimate, and I wanted to make you aware of them. Please know, before reading the below, that there are no known threats to our Pittsburgh Jewish community.
- Today, Oct 12th there is a planned National Day of Resistance on college campuses across the country being led by National Students for Justice for Palestine (SJP). We are closely monitoring this and have been coordinating with law enforcement. While there is no confirmation that this activity will occur in Pittsburgh, please be aware of the potential for protests on college campuses.
- Tomorrow, Oct 13th Hamas has called for global Jihad targeting Jewish organizations across the world in a movement called, Friday of the Al-Aqsa Flood. We have been coordinating with our federal law enforcement and intelligence partners on this. While the report appears to be legitimate, the focus of the activity is directed at the Middle East and not domestically. Some of the key language related to movement is:
- “to rise up and go out in roaring crowds and clash with the occupation soldiers everywhere,”
- “Let Friday be a day to mobilize support, support, and participation, a day to expose the crimes of the occupation, isolate it, and thwart all its aggressive plans, a day to show our love for Palestine, Jerusalem, and Al-Aqsa, a day for redemption, heroism, and sacrifice.”
- The movement also called on masses of Arab and Islamic people internationally to “march towards the borders of Palestine in huge crowds, in order to declare solidarity with Palestine, Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa, and those who are prevented by geography should gather at the closest point towards occupied Jerusalem.”
While the above items are concerning, I want to reiterate that we are not aware of any threats targeting our Jewish community. That said, the threat potential is constantly evolving. We are monitoring this 24/7 and are in frequent contact with local, state, and federal law enforcement. We are asking you to be vigilant, but we are encouraging you to conduct business as usual. This is a time to gather and heal in community.
Please continue to report suspicious activity. This is essential, now more than ever as we are working to gather intelligence and gage the current threat tempo. You can report suspicious activity to 911, and then to the Federation at jewishpgh.org/form/incident-report.
What to Expect:
- On Friday and Saturday, you will see an increased security presence at our locations to include police and/or armed guards.
- Pittsburgh Police cycle units are going to be patrolling in Squirrel Hill Friday afternoon and evening, and likely Saturday as well (we are working on this now). Police have a list of all our organizations and addresses.
- Many of our organizations have limited their access, using one main entrance.
- If there is a threat detected, we have an emergency notification system in place that immediately notifies the heads of all of our organizations.