October 28, 2019
Yesterday, the Montreal Jewish community came together to “Pause with Pittsburgh”, remembering the 11 innocent lives lost in the tragic shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue just one year ago.
Please watch this powerful video from Jeffrey Finkelstein, President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, about the importance of taking every possible precautionary measure to protect ourselves and our community:
The world around us has changed. Levels of antisemitism are at an all time high, and the safety net that Jewish life has experienced in North America is no longer a reality.
Taking the leadership role we have been called on to take here for the Jewish community, Federation CJA is leading an effort under the newly formed Community Security Network (“CSN”) to elevate the level of security preparedness across Jewish institutions across the city. The CSN will oversee security upgrades impacting 5,400 children in Jewish day schools, 12,000 synagogue-goers, and tens of thousands of seniors, families, students, and community members that benefit from the programs and services offered by our community’s institutions.
While Federation CJA is leading this initiative, success depends on each and every community member contributing. We are all in this together! We need your help in order to raise the $10 million necessary to complete the plan and to provide funds for monitoring and maintaining a security system according to best practices in the field.
We are asking you to participate in our shared responsibility by supporting our Community Security Network fund. SECURING THE PRESENT IS SECURING OUR FUTURE!
Community security affects every one of us, and we all have a part to play. Help us keep our community, and everyone in it, safe.
Our work is your work.
October 10, 2019
Yesterday, in the German city of Halle, a heavily armed gunman attempted to enter a synagogue as the local Jewish community gathered inside for Yom Kippur services. After failing to gain entry, the gunman proceeded to fire at people on the street, killing a woman in the vicinity of the city's Jewish cemetery and a man in a small Turkish restaurant nearby. The perpetrator, who live-streamed the attack, was uttering antisemitic and xenophobic statements throughout. The police have arrested a 27-year old German man. The German federal prosecutor suspects the killer was motivated by antisemitism and far-right ideology.
In response to the horrific event, Gail Adelson-Marcovitz, President of Federation CJA, issued the following statement:
"Our hearts are broken and we are horrified by this senseless act of violence that has struck the Jewish community of Halle. We mourn the loss of the two bystanders whose lives were taken from them and we stand in solidarity with their families. To those who were injured, we wish a full and speedy recovery."
Federation CJA Community Security Network has been and remains in communication with our local security partners, global Jewish security colleagues, and local law enforcement. At no time has there been any information to suggest a specific threat against the Montreal Jewish community.
We thank Montreal Police Service for their steadfast support and increased presence around Jewish facilities over Yom Kippur, which Federation CJA was pleased to help coordinate. Sébastien de Montigny of the PDQ26 shared a statement in a special release yesterday.
We urge Jewish institutions to maintain a healthy sense of vigilance and adhere to security protocols. We also remind community members to say something if they see something. In a non-emergency situation, contact the police at 514-280-2222. For more information and tips on how to increase your security confidence and awareness, you can also contact our Community Security Hotline at 514-343-4343
Yair Szlak, LL.B
Chief Executive Officer, Federation CJA
We all know that we are living in troubling times. Antisemitism is rising around the world, not only in Europe but in North America, in our own backyard.
The cities of Pittsburgh and Poway have become synonymous with the tragic synagogue shootings that took place there last year, a mere six months apart. Across Canada we have seen a recent spike in violent attacks. Our own Montreal Jewish community has faced hatred, vandalism and threats.
The time is now to secure our future. Because what happens to one of us, happens to all of us.
Federation CJA has taken on the responsibility of leading a collaborative, community-wide effort to increase security preparedness and confidence through our newly formed Community Security Network. In partnership with experts in the field, we are developing best practices to enhance the safety, security and resilience of our schools, synagogues, and Jewish institutions.
But we cannot do it alone. It is all of our responsibility to make sure that our community, and everyone in it, is safe. Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh Bazeh – All Jews are responsible for one another.
THE COMMUNITY SECURITY NETWORK WILL:
DEVELOP COMPREHENSIVE COMMUNITY-WIDE, AS WELL AS INSTITUTION- SPECIFIC, SECURITY PROTOCOLS
ESTABLISH ONGOING SECURITY TRAINING FOR INSTITUTIONS' STAFF
USE CUTTING-EDGE TECHNOLOGY TO ENABLE CONSISTENT MONITORING OF JEWISH INSTITUTIONS
TRAIN AND VET A THIRD PARTY SECURITY FIRM