FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Please note that we take operational security quite seriously at CSS. As such, we can only provide a limited amount of information publicly. All inquiries are vetted.
QUESTIONS ABOUT CSS
Why is there a need for CSS?
Jews in the United States are fortunate to be one of the most diverse and accepted communities in all of Jewish history. However, during the last several years American Jews have seen a dramatic increase in antisemitic incidents, including deadly attacks on synagogues and other Jewish institutions. For example, in its most recent annual Hate Crime Statistics report, the FBI listed a record number of violent anti-Jewish crimes. Similarly, according to the Anti-Defamation League, antisemitic incidents in the United States surged to the highest on record in 2019. This included more than 2,100 acts of assault, vandalism and harassment, which they have been tracking since 1979. Our unique model (see more below) makes an indispensable contribution to the overall security architecture of the American Jewish community.
What does CSS uniquely add to the security of the Jewish community?
CSS provides unique value to the Jewish community’s overall security architecture by training and operating security teams composed of community volunteers. These teams are professionally trained to follow a methodology developed by leading security organizations and experts to identify suspicious activity and address security and safety situations long before they escalate into serious incidents. Moreover, since security team members also belong to the organization that they protect, CSS provides an unparalleled means to embed security knowledge within the Jewish community in a scalable and sustainable way. Our vision is to create an informed and engaged community that recognizes security is everyone’s responsibility. This “culture of responsibility” is one of the most crucial steps that any synagogue, school, or Jewish organization can take in boosting their security preparedness.
Who pays for CSS?
The majority of the funding for CSS has always come from individual donors and foundations. CSS prides itself in removing the barrier of cost from the need to secure the Jewish communities. In recent years CSS has been honored to received support from major Jewish foundations and several Jewish federations. This support has allowed us to provide a quality, and welcoming, security experience to Jewish communities, while also saving millions of dollars in costs.
IS CSS THE RIGHT FIT FOR YOUR INSTITUTION?
How do I find out if CSS is right for my institution?
This question requires a conversation. We welcome you to apply for membership to the CSS network by submitting this form. Or you can simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with your inquiry.
What Jewish organizations and synagogues does CSS work with?
CSS is proud of its record of protecting institutions and events that cover the full diversity of the American Jewish community, regardless of religious stream, political orientation, or size. We work closely with orthodox, conservative, and reform synagogues, JCCs, schools, and a wide variety of other Jewish organizations and local Federations. We also seek to partner with law enforcement agencies in the respective regions where we operate.
What about the halachic considerations of CSS operating during Shabbat and Jewish holidays?
CSS takes seriously the halachic issues that present themselves around security work so that all Jewish communities can fully participate in our activities. We have consulted with many Poskim and have certain policies and Heterim in place so that all observant Jews can volunteer as needed.
HOW CAN I HELP
Who can take a training course to become a volunteer?
All of our training courses are free of charge and we work hard to match volunteers to the appropriate training for their role in the community. Naturally not all courses are suitable for all people and unfortunately we do not currently have resources to be active in every community.
To find out if we offer a training course in your location and to apply click here.
All applications are in the strictest confidence and CSS reserves the right to refuse admission to any of its training courses. Please note that all applicants will be required to submit references prior to an initial interview.
I don’t live in a CSS area but I want to take part in this effort. What can I do?
There are many ways you can help CSS’s mission. From making even a small donation to simply spreading the word, you will help us build awareness of this commonsense approach to securing our community. If you have a special skill or would like to volunteer in an administrative capacity, please let us know in the general inquiry form on our contact page.
If you would like to inquire about starting a CSS chapter in your region, you can let us know through the general inquiry form as well.