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12/16/2021

CSS and National Council of Young Israel Form Partnership to Expand Volunteer Security Opportunities

New York, NY, January 6, 2022 … The Community Security Service (The CSS) and the National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) announced today the establishment of a partnership centered around expanding institutional volunteer security opportunities for Jewish congregants across the United States.

Under the new partnership, as per a Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations, NCYI will actively promote The CSS’ programs and services among its affiliated staff, institutions and constituents across the country in an effort to instill an increased communal awareness on safety and security. The CSS will make its security training and programs available to NCYI’s national network, and will allocate its expertise and resources in a customizable fashion to meet the specific needs of NCYI communities.

“In our ongoing efforts to create an even bigger volunteer network – together with a much needed cultural shift on Jewish security on the ground – our coming together is an example of a vital partnership that will tangibly help secure more synagogues across the United States,” said Evan R. Bernstein, The CSS National Director and CEO. “By working with national and local Young Israel leadership, we will be able to intimately understand the unique security challenges communities face, and subsequently be in an even better position to empower their membership to assume a greater responsibility for their safety.”

The CSS and NCYI have agreed to meet quarterly with their respective leadership to identify opportunities to strengthen collaboration between the two organizations centered around improving the security of American Jewish institutions.

“Amid a frightening rise in antisemitism, we must do everything we can to protect our community and our institutions,” said Rabbi David Warshaw, NCYI President. “We wholeheartedly share The CSS’ goal and vision of empowering our community to take action to improve our security, which is a mentality that the global Jewish community has adopted for quite some time. We must come together as a community and work collaboratively to ensure the highest level of protection for our synagogues and schools.”

In June 2020, The CSS announced the appointment of Mr. Bernstein as national director and CEO along with the addition of global security and counterterrorism experts to its professional staff.

Since the election of a new Board of Directors in February 2021, the NCYI has enhanced the relationship between the national organization and its branch synagogues through a renewed focus on cooperation and collaboration. By enriching and expanding its programs and services on behalf of its branches and their members, the NCYI serves as a valuable resource for synagogues across the United States in critical areas such as educational programming, security assistance, rabbinic services, and youth and senior programming.

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About The Community Security Service (The CSS): The CSS is the leading Jewish volunteer security nonprofit 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 its 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.

About National Council of Young Israel (NCYI): For the past 109 years, the National Council of Young Israel has ably served the broader Jewish community. With more than 25,000 member families and approximately 135 branch synagogues throughout the United States, Canada, and Israel, the National Council of Young Israel is a multi-faceted organization that embraces Jewish communal needs and often takes a leading role in tackling the important issues that face the Jewish community in North America and Israel.

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