On October 30, in the aftermath of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting, the OU, RCA and YU convened a conference call to discuss best practices for implementing practical security measures in our schools and shuls.
Following introductory remarks from OU Executive Vice President Allen Fagin, listeners heard from Doron Horowitz, Senior National Security Advisor for Secure Community Network (SCN), the national homeland security initiative of The Jewish Federations of North America & the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; Jeff Veltri,Civil Rights Unit Chief for the FBI in charge of operations in Pittsburgh; and Bill Ryan, Director ofInfrastructure Protection, Region 3 (including PA) for the Department of Homeland Security.
Leadership from over 500 shuls and schools around the country listened in to learn more about how to improve security in their facilities. Many have already followed up with requests for guidance on protocols and training.
In addition to connecting our institutions to security resources and training, OU Advocacy has worked for many years on obtaining government grants for shuls and schools to enhance their security – primarily via the Dept. of Homeland Security’s “Nonprofit Security Grant Program.”
In the coming weeks, OU Advocacy will be working with allies in Congress, the Administration and state and local leaders to advocate for more funds and resources to be allocated to the federal and state programs. Please sign up to receive alerts about these initiatives at Advocacy.ou.org.