Leading California Jewish Security Organizations Form First-of-Its Kind Alliance
ADL Los Angeles and The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles announce a new alliance in a coordinated effort to prevent and combat antisemitic incidents in Southern California.
Los Angeles, CA. August 16, 2023 … Facing a historical rise in antisemitic incidents, the two organizations principally responsible for Jewish communal security announced today an integrated, security partnership known as the Southern California Jewish Security Alliance. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of Los Angeles and the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles are combining their expertise to better prevent and respond to antisemitism in the area.
Antisemitic incidents are at an all-time high in California and recent threats to the Southern California Jewish community – from this month’s spate of “swattings” of local synagogues to the Pico-Robertson shootings in February, to the recent arrest of a dangerous white supremacist in Reseda – have demonstrated a growing need to enhance security through intelligence sharing. and partnership. The Alliance will act as the central point of contact for Southern California law enforcement and elected officials on issues affecting Jewish security. As part of this strategic alliance, the Community Security Service (CSS) has signed on as the first partner organization, bringing its expertise in volunteer security to enhance the collective effort of the Alliance.
Additionally, the Alliance will:
- Meet regularly to discuss and brief each other on coordination and action items.
- Review and improve community activation plans/disaster response plans.
- Develop protocols for, among other items, issuing emergency community alerts and rapid response to emergencies.
- Exchange information to create best practices regarding training, physical security assessments, and intelligence gathering and analysis.
“When you combine resources, you can connect the dots between what might appear to be unrelated incidents of antisemitism and paint a clearer picture of the challenges we face as a community,” says Jeffrey I. Abrams, Regional Director of ADL Los Angeles. “This partnership involves leveraging each other’s comparative advantages, joint mobilization of resources and leveraging those resources, including ADL’s decades long Law Enforcement Advisory Committee which has built critical and lasting relations with local, state and federal law enforcement officials throughout Southern California.”
With the formation of the Alliance also comes the hiring of a new intelligence analyst to be jointly embedded within both ADL’s Center on Extremism and the Jewish Federation’s Community Security Initiative. This expert will focus on detecting, tracking, and analyzing physical threats, hate incidents and extremist trends as well as collecting and analyzing data to inform organizational strategies and prevention efforts. In collaboration with CSS’s volunteer security teams, the new intelligence analyst will also work closely with community members to gather and analyze real-time security information.
“We see the Alliance as a continuation of bringing together our resources because we know that working together in lockstep is the best way to combat antisemitism and hate,” says Rabbi Noah Farkas, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. “The threats are real, and they are in our own backyard as we just saw in the Reseda arrest of a dangerous white supremacist. We know the value of working together as it was our Community Security Initiative’s collaboration and close partnership with law enforcement led directly to the apprehension of the suspect. We believe SCJSA will replicate this sort of collaboration on a broader scale. This partnership is the result of intentional leadership and will give us a unique advantage to reach the community during crises. And while our offices have long been working together behind the scenes from Colleyville to Pico-Robertson, we hope the Alliance will serve as an example of what true partnership means because when it comes to security, working in silos is not an option.”
“We are pleased to welcome the establishment of the Jewish Security Alliance, a vital initiative that underscores the importance of collaboration in enhancing security,” said Aubrey Farkas Harris, Western States Director for the Community Security Service. “At CSS, we are dedicated to training and supporting community members who volunteer to bolster the security of our Jewish community. Their efforts are instrumental in safeguarding our institutions and strengthening the fabric of our Southern California community. As we join forces with leaders at ADL Los Angeles and the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, we reaffirm our commitment to innovative, community-driven approaches to security.”
“As the Co-Chairs of the Alliance, ADL and the Federation are extremely pleased that CSS will be the first member of the Alliance and we look forward to adding more partners to Alliance throughout Southern California in the coming months,” adds Farkas. “This is just the beginning.”
ADL is a leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of antisemitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. ADL is the first call when acts of antisemitism occur. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate. More at www.adl.org
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles is the heartbeat of Jewish L.A. We identify and address our community’s greatest challenges and opportunities in a way only we can — locally and globally. Please follow us on social media @JFEDLA to learn more.
About the Community Security Service (CSS):
CSS is the leading Jewish volunteer security organization in the United States. Founded in 2007, 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 the Jewish way of life starts with taking ownership of our security. CSS is focused on training volunteers in basic security procedures to help protect their institutions and events across the country. Volunteers learn to identify suspicious activity and prevent and respond to potentially threatening situations through programs developed by foremost industry security experts and tailored to various levels of interest and ability. Since its inception, CSS has created a national network of thousands of trained volunteers who help to protect synagogues and events nationwide. Visit thecss.org.