It’s time to ‘turn up’ and be present

It’s time to ‘turn up’ and be present

Message from Dov Ben-Shimon, federation executive VP and CEO

FOLLOWING THE RECENT spate of anti-Semitism, our Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ will be focused over the coming weeks on three areas of activity, and we invite the community to get involved.

First, with the support and leadership of Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Dist. 36), we’re going to lobby for an increase from $1 million to $10 million in the state’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program. We’re also asking the federal government to increase their Nonprofit Security Grant Program from $90 to $360 million. We’re grateful to our state senators, Cory Booker and Robert Menendez, for calling for that increase, which will help protect vulnerable communities such as ours from targeted hate crimes and domestic terrorism.

Our Community Relations Committee (CRC) will increase our advocacy efforts and we’ll need everyone’s help in reaching out to their elected representatives to support these and other measures. To get involved, please contact CRC Director Linda Scherzer at 973-929-3087 or

Second, we’re calling on everyone in the community to increase their participation, and to maintain and increase their support of Jewish communal institutions. The best response to hate crimes and domestic terrorism is not to give in or give up, not to stay at home, but to turn up and support the causes and organizations that you love. Now, more than ever, don’t sit back. Come to shul, come to your local JCC, federation events, to organizations that stand for the values in which you believe. They need your support — and you need them.

Third, and finally, now is the time for everyone in every community building — synagogues, agencies, private businesses — to take a hard look at security and safety, review protocols and procedures, re-establish and deepen connections with local law enforcement, refresh training plans, and make sure that everyone knows what to do in the worst-case scenarios. If you’re leading a community institution or are tasked with its security, we encourage you to be in touch with Bob Wilson, our federation’s Chief Security Officer, to make sure we’re coordinated and can help you. He can be reached at 973-929-2921 or

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