Thanking the Unsung Heroes Who Keep U.S. Synagogues Safe

(JTA) Jason D. Greenblatt - On many trips to Europe I was disconcerted by the police or private security presence at so many of the synagogues I visited. I was sad, confounded and upset to see that such a presence was needed. How is it possible, I wondered, that in cities and countries where the land is so stained with Jewish blood after a targeted, systematic attempted annihilation of the Jewish people that European synagogues would need such protection? Was there no guilt or shame? Were there no lessons learned? Growing up in New York City, other than the occasional rough anti-Semitic comment here or there, I was fortunate to have personally experienced virtually no anti-Semitism. The synagogues I attended had little to no visible security protocols in place. The large and extremely serious security challenges and danger we face today did not exist. We must all express our deep gratitude to our friends and neighbors who volunteer for the Community Security Service and Secure Community Network, organizations that train and watch over us in our synagogues. Last Shabbat when I arrived at my synagogue, one of our CSS volunteers pointed out that in the wake of the horrific attack in Jersey City days earlier, they were now wearing bulletproof vests. Let that sink in a moment. The risk to these volunteers has grown so much that they must now wear bulletproof vests to protect themselves while they protect us. The writer is a former assistant to the president and special representative for international negotiations for the Trump administration.

2019-12-20 00:00:00

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