Security for Jews Gets Serious

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06 Feb 2020

Security has become the number-one issue on the minds of American Jews due to an increase in anti-Semitic attacks. Recent acts of violence in places like shuls and kosher markets have engendered a very clear demand from the Jewish community and its representatives: Jewish institutions need more security. And for that security to be adequate and complete, it will require government funding.

The fight for government funding for increased security at clearly Jewish institutions has been going on for some time, and there have been numerous victories along the way. Maury Litwack, the founder and executive director of the Teach Coalition, a division of the Orthodox Union, has been involved in that fight for years. His organization lobbies for funding, helps facilitate grassroots support (like organizing rallies in Albany) and assists Jewish organizations in applying for, and maintaining, that funding—literally helping them fill out all of the necessary forms.

To a certain degree, security funding for shuls and yeshivos, which covers things like security cameras and secure doors, has been in place at the federal level since a few years after 9/11. But as Mr. Litwack described, state funding for security truly first took off in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.

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The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.