The Community Security Service (CSS) and the Community Security Initiative (CSI) — with roles in the protection of the Jewish community in the New York metropolitan-tristate area — have formed a partnership with the New York Board of Rabbis (NYBR), the world’s largest rabbinic inter-denominational body, in an effort to increase communication and collaboration around securing institutions.
The three entities signed a Memorandum of Understanding as the American-Jewish community is experiencing historic levels of antisemitism and an increased threat environment.
The CSS (thecss.org) is the leading Jewish volunteer security organization in the United States. CSI (csiny.org) is a comprehensive program created as part of a plan to protect Jewish communities and institutions.
CSS and CSI have pledged to make their respective programs and services available free of charge to institutions and constituents affiliated with NYBR in the tristate area and across the country.
“Today, we are living in a new era of antisemitism and threat environment, which behooves us to do everything possible to forge real inter-organizational connections that have a direct impact on our safety outcomes,” said Evan R. Bernstein, CSS national director and CEO.
NYBR executive vice president Rabbi Joseph Potasnik said: “Some years ago, the rabbi of Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, following the murderous attack on congregants, asked, ‘When we said, “Never Again” after the Holocaust, did we put a question mark or exclamation mark after it?’ Standing together as one people is the best response to anti-Semitism…. We sign this memorandum as living testimony.”
CSS will allocate its expertise and resources by customizing its existing training programs and by assisting in the tracking of threats to the community, responding to anti-Semitic incidents, and providing physical security assessments.
“Antisemitism — and how this age-old hatred afflicts us — remains at the top of mind for every American-Jewish institution,” said Mitchell D. Silber, executive director of CSI and former N.Y.P.D. counterterrorism official.
“The establishment of such a partnership allows us to keep improving our security.”