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Jan 16, 2022

Federation Helps Keep Our Jewish Community Safe

The hours-long standoff at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, TX, was a startling reminder of the importance of securing our Jewish institutions. Against the backdrop of rising incidences of antisemitism and increasing threats to the safety of Jews everywhere, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation works to protect our community now and always. Donations to the Annual Greater Miami Jewish Federation/UJA Campaign ensure the infrastructure that creates, develops and enacts critical safety protocols.

Our Office of Community Security (OCS) works closely with local and national law enforcement officers and the Secure Communities Network (SCN), an initiative funded by the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) that unites Federations across the country to promote security best practices, safety training and resources for improving security in synagogues and organizations. The safety training proved lifesaving in Texas and allowed the hostages to escape unharmed. “We saw the impact of preparation and training last weekend,” said Stephanie Viegas, Federation's Office of Community Security Director. “It is the latest example of the importance of our efforts and brings to light the ongoing threats facing the Jewish community.”

In addition to the partnerships Federation has with law enforcement and its work with SCN, our Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) and OCS has helped make Miami’s Jewish institutions safer and more secure. Last year, with the help and guidance of JCRC and OCS, Miami’s Jewish institutions received 19 grants totaling nearly $2.7 million from the federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program. Since the program’s inception over 15 years ago, Miami-Dade County has received more than $15 million in funding for security grants.

For additional information or security resources, contact Federation Community Security Director Stephanie Viegas at sviegas@gmjf.org.

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