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October 3, 2021 6:59 pm
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Jewish Umbrella Org Announces $54 Million Initiative to ‘Secure Every Jewish Community’

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Ohel Menachem Riverdale Jewish Youth Library Lubavitch, where glass windows were smashed in New York on April 25, 2021. Photo by Lev Radin/Sipa USA

As American Jewish communities have increasingly been the target of antisemitic harassment and violence over the past year, the Jewish Federations of North America announced a $54 million campaign to help deliver the resources and know-how needed to secure their institutions.

The three-year LiveSecure campaign aims to ensure that each of the 146 US communities with a Jewish Federation will have a community security initiative, up from 45 today.

“Together through our LiveSecure campaign, we are working to make sure that the entire Federation system has undertaken this task, and that all of them can continue to upgrade their efforts to meet the new risks and adapt newly-developed best practices in security,” Jewish Federations President and CEO Eric Fingerhut said at the organizations annual general assembly on Sunday.

Also speaking at the event, Israeli President Isaac Herzog called for forging “alliances with other communities that have been the targets of hate.”

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“We must ensure that Jews are safe to be Jews in America and elsewhere around the world,” Herzog said.

Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley cautioned that there is an “urgent need to protect Jewish communities” and that the rise in antisemitism is “proof that we are surrounded by a moral pandemic.”

New York Democratic Representative Ritchie Torres said: “We are sitting on a powder keg of antisemitism, and the Jewish community and all of us cannot afford to be complacent. All of us in public life have an obligation to speak out forcefully against extremism, no matter what form it takes.”

Herzog also underlined the importance of reinforcing the ties between the Jewish communities of North America and Israel.

“The two epicenters of Jewish life — what I term as Jerusalem and Babylon — are under threat of growing apart,” Herzog warned. “We must declare our urgent duty and overarching goal to strengthen our shared sense of peoplehood to enhance and deepen the links between us. I cannot imagine a world in which Israel and North American Jewry are not intimately tied to each other.”

“As President of the State of Israel, I will make it my mission to strengthen the lines of communication to reinforce the underlying bond and mutual responsibility,” he emphasized.

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