Jewish Federations of North America officials met today at the White House with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The meeting, coinciding with the announcement of the Federation movement’s new partnership with DHS, was dedicated mainly to the state of threats posed to American Jewish institutions.
According to the Jewish Federations spokesman, it’s the first time DHS is partnering with a faith-based community to advance its “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign.
“Homeland security begins with hometown security, and our nation’s faith-based organizations play a critical role in keeping our communities safe,” said Secretary Napolitano, according to the White House readout of the meeting.
“Expanding the ‘If You See Something, Say Something™’ campaign to national Jewish groups, the first faith-based partnership for the campaign, is an important step in the Department’s ongoing effort to engage the American public in our nation’s security efforts,” Napolitano continued.
As part of the campaign, print and social media materials will be distributed to the Jewish community centers and organizations.
“The American Jewish community and the places we gather are, unfortunately, often targets for terrorists. This new partnership with the Department of Homeland Security will empower us to counter this threat as we become more actively involved in our own protection," said Michael Gelman, chair of the Executive Committee of the Board of The Jewish Federations of North America.
“This new partnership with the Department of Homeland Security will empower us to counter this threat as we become more actively involved in our own protection,” Gelman added.
“For more than a century, Jewish Federations have been the connecting force of the North American Jewish community,” said Jerry Silverman, President and CEO of The Jewish Federations of North America. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work with DHS and SCN to leverage our wide collective network to help better protect U.S. Jewish institutions from potential threats.”
He added that “the security threat to Jewish community centers, schools, and places of worship has not abated since the death of Osama bin Laden. Days after his killing, al-Qaida in Yemen called for retaliatory attacks against Jewish targets.”
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