Homeland Security, FBI Brief Jewish Community on Kansas Shooting

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A Kansas State Trooper stands near the location of a shooting at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, KS, Sunday, April 13, 2014. Credit: AP

In the wake of the shooting at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom Assisted Living Center near Kansas City on April 13, the United States Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation held a briefing with the Secure Community Network, a national homeland security initiative of The Jewish Federations of North America and Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

More than 350 community leaders participated in the teleconference. In which Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, FBI Deputy Director Mark Giuliano and other officials provided updates on the suspect and the situation, and advised on protective measures Jewish leaders should consider for their facilities and communities.

“Jewish Federations want to express our appreciation to the administration for its immediate response to this tragedy,” said Michael Siegal, chair of the JFNA Board of Trustees. “Today’s call with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation reassured us that they are working vigilantly to safeguard our right to practice Judaism without threat of violence.”

Paul Goldenberg, National Director of the Secure Community Network, said, “In the aftermath of the horrific shooting in Overland Park, we must remain alert at our Jewish communal institutions and places of prayer. However, we cannot let this crime of hate instill fear in our Jewish community. We encourage you to celebrate the upcoming Passover holiday without intimidation by these singular acts of violence.”

Three people, including a 14-year-old boy, were killed on Sunday at two different Jewish community facilities in the Kansas City area when a former Klu-Klux Klan leader from neighboring Missouri went on an anti-Semitic shooting spree.

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