Community Security Service Expresses Concern Over Repeated Incidents Targeting Bronx Jewish Institutions
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Robbins | (917) 472-9982 | [email protected]
New York, NY, April 25, 2021 … The Community Security Service (CSS) today expressed concern over a series of incidents identified and reported by its volunteers that targeted several Bronx synagogues overnight between April 24 and 25. According to reports by its volunteers on site, and corroborated by a review of camera footage, the perpetrator vandalized four synagogues by hurling rocks resulting in smashed windows, causing a sense of vulnerability and heightened alert throughout the community.
Earlier in the week, camera footage also apparently showed the same perpetrator vandalizing and disturbing two of these institutions days before these latest incidents. The CSS volunteers were on site and identified the presence of the perpetrator, helping to provide key information for the New York Police Department (NYPD). The CSS continues to work closely with local community leadership, NYPD, its Bronx-based trained volunteers, and the Community Security Initiative (CSI) in the event an additional security presence is needed on the ground.
Evan R. Bernstein, CSS CEO and National Director, issued the following statement:
“From a security perspective, we are concerned that Jewish institutions are being harassed or vandalized for the third consecutive time in one week. The eyewitness accounts of our volunteers, coupled with footage of the alleged perpetrator days before committing the acts, represents a clear desire to inflict harm on the Jewish community.
The Bronx’s Jewish community, however, should be reassured that The CSS is monitoring the situation closely and that its trained safety and security volunteers are on the frontlines to work with law enforcement to ensure the highest level of security for its Jewish institutions.
Although many of our houses of worship and community centers were shuttered during the pandemic, the Jewish community has not been immune to antisemitism as we saw during a series of incidents that targeted Jewish communities across the country during the High Holidays and Hanukkah. We remain steadfast in our effort to tangibly improve the security of our communities nationwide.”
In September 2020, in an effort to substantially improve the safety and security of Jewish communal institutions across the greater New York area, The CSS and CSI established an operational partnership that is currently synchronizing field operations, coordinating deployments of volunteers, sharing intelligence, and conducting both joint training and joint tabletop exercises.
About The Community Security Service (CSS):
The CSS is the leading Jewish volunteer security organization in the United States. Founded in 2007, the CSS was the first organization to bring to the United States a mindset long held by sister communities around the world, that protecting Jewish life and Jewish way of life starts with taking ownership of our own security. The CSS is focused on training volunteers in basic security procedures to help protect their institutions and events across the country. Through programs developed by foremost industry security experts, and tailored to various levels of interest and ability, volunteers learn to identify suspicious activity and prevent and respond to potential threatening situations. The CSS success also stems from their solid communal partnerships and established relationships with governmental agencies and law enforcement. To date, the CSS has created a national network of over 5000 trained volunteers, which help to protect hundreds of synagogues and events each year. Visit www.thecss.org.