After New Series of Antisemitic Incidents in L.A., CSS Reiterates Call to American Jewish Leadership to Prioritize Security
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New York, NY, May 30, 2021 …In the wake of three apparent antisemitic incidents in Los Angeles, in which a synagogue, a Kosher restaurant and supermarket in close proximity were vandalized, The Community Security Service (CSS) today reiterated its urging of American Jewish leadership to “heed the call” to prioritize security.
Security footage showed a perpetrator attempting to throw a block of concrete through at the windows of a synagogue in Century City on May 28, an attempt of which was largely unsuccessful because of shatterproof glass. According to reports, the alleged vandal also targeted a nearby kosher restaurant and supermarket by throwing concrete slabs through its windows. The three incidents come on the heels of additional recent antisemitic incidents in the Los Angeles metro area, including the harassment and intimidation of restaurant diners, which ensued in violent altercations, and the pursuit of a visibly identifiable Orthodox man by a caravan of anti-Israel protestors.
“We commend the synagogue involved for prioritizing its safety and security, and for working closely with our trained CSS volunteers to ensure the protection of its facility,” said Evan R. Bernstein, CSS CEO and National Director. “We call on all Jewish institutions — regardless of affiliation — to heed the call to encourage its members to take basic steps towards becoming involved in volunteer security.”
Mr. Bernstein added, “The nature and consistency of the antisemitic incidents that are targeting Jewish communities across the country tells us vividly that more eyes and ears on the ground are needed. As a community, we have to take a more proactive approach by furthering the notion that security is everyone’s responsibility.”
During the 11-day conflict between Israel and the Gaza-based terrorist organization Hamas, several synagogues and Jewish institutions across the United States were vandalized with swastikas, restaurant diners were harassed and threatened, and anti-Israel protestors carried out violent acts against Jewish groups, which has left many communities feeling vulnerable. Alongside local law enforcement, CSS continues to monitor these manifestations with its partners and remains in close contact with its trained volunteer security teams in the event an additional security presence is needed on the ground.
“These incidents show that antisemitism continues to target our community institutions,” said Steven Silver, CSS Los Angeles Volunteer Regional Manager. “This is why we need to prioritize security.”
In June 2020, CSS announced the appointment of Mr. Bernstein as CEO and the addition of global security and counterterrorism experts to its professional staff.
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 and watch our video.