ADL NY/NJ Hosts Panel Regarding
Jewish Communal Security
By Stephen E. Lipken
Opening the Tuesday, February 8th , Jewish Communal Security Info Session, Alan Klinger, Vice Chair, Antidefamation League (ADL) NY/NJ made it abundantly clear that when it comes to Communal Security, our institutions must be united and coordinated. He then introduced ADL NY/NJ Regional Director Scott Richman.
Richman stressed that his Region is the victim of more anti-Semitic incidents than any Region across the country. Richman then in turn introduced Greg Ehrie, ADL Vice President of Law Enforcement and Security, asking him what threats are facing the Jewish community today.
Ehrie outlined six points: 1) Jews are the most targeted community in the U.S.; 2) FBI data is underreported at 14-15%. “In the last 3 years we have seen anti-Semitic incidents higher in our country than we have seen in the last 40 years,” Ehrie noted. 3) Jewish institutions are vulnerable targets. 4) Jews are regularly targeted for their support of Israel and Zionism from the Right, Left and Center. 5) Anti-Semitic incidents perpetrate deadly violence against Jews.6) Since 2016 we have been able to identify Al Qaida and ISIS threats.
Executive Director of Community Security Initiative (CSI) Mitchell Silber said that CSI representatives visit Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester County and Five Boroughs synagogues, assessing security, helping them obtain Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and NYS grants as well as active shooter training.
Deputy National Director of Community Security Service (CSS) Richard Priem pointed out that in many attacks on Jewish targets there was some level of surveillance, casing entrances, times people arrive/leave and security.
Ehrie stressed that when he joined the FBI, he was required to undergo ADL training at the Holocaust Museum, and it is still mandatory. “We say this as a mantra,” Richman added. “The Jewish institutions should know the law enforcement professionals in their community, not just when an incident occurs.”
FBI Special Agent Michael Broadack averred that hate crimes are top priority with his organization, because an attack on an individual also intimidates the community.