The rise in anti-Semitic rhetoric and actions has been disturbingly undeniable. Just like you, I’ve been reading and listening to story after story of hate-filled violence and disrespect being directed at Jewish people, here and abroad.
In response, the security teams at the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County are taking a proactive stance and coordinating with area law enforcement agencies, along with other Federations, local and federal security teams, to ensure the safety of our campus and our communities.
We are taking this rise seriously. Below is an example of the type of “behind the scenes” work being carried out by our Community Security Director Alan Poland, who was added to our team specifically for this reason – to remain ever vigilant against any threat to our wellbeing.
Our expansive community of friends, supporters and partners are banding together to combat this anti-Semitic swell and doing everything we can to educate others on the corrosive effects of hate run amok. We will never forget. We stand with Israel. We are not going backwards
President & CEO, Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County
Dear Community Leaders,
During recent weeks, we have witnessed activity in the South Florida area with anti-Israel and anti-Semitic ideologies. We thought it important for you to know that our Community Security Program, through our partnership with the Secure Community Network, the official safety and security organization of the Jewish community in North America, is constantly monitoring these types of situations. Community Security Director Alan Poland comes with years of law enforcement and security industry experience. Alan has been working with the professionals and security committees of our South Palm Beach County Jewish organizations to keep everyone informed, to train our community and to help organizations improve security on site.
Here is a glimpse into the work being done in the background to keep our community safe, using the past couple of weeks as an example:
Several weeks prior to the recent activity, Alan was informed that a group of anti-Semitic individuals planned to visit Florida and promote their anti-Semitic views in Jewish neighborhoods. This information was shared with Secure Community Network intelligence analysts for their review and monitoring. Alan also discussed the planned activity with appropriate law enforcement and other security colleagues in the region.
In the weeks leading up to the planned demonstrations, Community Security and Secure Community Network intelligence analysts continued to review open source media to monitor the demonstration planning process and analyze the potential impact of these events on the South Palm Beach County Jewish community; generally to the community as a whole and specifically to organizations that may have been in harm’s way due to their proximity to any demonstrations. A primary concern was the impact that could result, should the demonstrators deviate from their planned event for any reason.
As the demonstrations were occurring in different Jewish communities in Florida, Alan was in contact with security directors in those communities and with law enforcement contacts, to include the FBI, the Sheriff’s office, and local police departments.
As events took place, Community Security updated Federation leadership, as well as our community’s organizational leadership. In addition, all of the Community Security Program’s law enforcement contacts were aware of the concerns specific to our community and would have immediately contacted Community Security with any newly-developed information that could have impacted any specific Jewish facilities.
For more information about our Community Security Program and to access a library of essential documents on community security, please visit our updated website here: https://virtual.jewishboca.org/index.php/security/
During periods of increased anti-Semitic rhetoric and violence, it is important for everyone in our Jewish community to remain both alert and aware of your surroundings. If you are the victim of any kind of anti-Semitic harassment, please call 911 immediately and report it to the police, providing them with as much information as you can about what happened. It is critical that any such incidents get reported as soon as possible.
If you receive or have received strange emails, messages, phone calls, or letters, or have felt it necessary to contact 911, please also share the information with Alan Poland at AlanP@bocafed.org, so that he can determine if the information needs to be shared with other agencies.