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CSI Safety & Security Conference

On Thursday, April 30th, our Federation’s Community Security Initiative (CSI) held its third annual Safety and Security Conference and Front Line Responders Workshop. This program brought together a host of professionals from both the Jewish community and the law enforcement sector.

Attended by 135 staff, clergy and leaders from local synagogues, schools and Jewish organizations, the conference kicked off with opening remarks from our Director of Community Security, Jason Periard, who appropriately made sure to point out all the emergency exits in The Jewish Federation’s Sanders Board Room. Federation’s Chief Operating and Financial Officer Ivan Wolkind, and Director of our Federation’s Caring for Jews in Need strategic initiative, Lori Klein, also took the podium, offering a background on the importance of this conference, and overviewing some of our life-changing work in this realm.

L.A. Deputy District Attorney, Major in the U.S. Army Reserve and 2014 Congressional Candidate Elan Carr gave the keynote speech.  Impressed by CSI, Carr noted that what our Federation has built here in Los Angeles far exceeds what he’s seen at similar institutions across the nation. He also spoke about the heightened threats to our Jewish community throughout Europe, reminding people that, “We are not Europe, but we are in danger.” He went on to provide a brief background on the biggest threats in the world today, calling out Hezbollah as the number one threat in the Middle East. Comparatively, he called Al Qaeda a “junior varsity team” and Hamas “a minor problem.” Though these dangerous terrorist groups are thousands of miles away, Carr reminded the crowd that they inspire copycat attacks worldwide, including those from homegrown radicals, some of whom are appearing on college campuses.

Following Carr’s eye-opening speech, participants dispersed for their first of three workshops of the morning. Sessions included:

  • Terrorist Techniques, Tactics and Procedures with Mr. Ashour Ebrahim, who formerly served with the FBI and currently serves as both Co-director of Intelligence at CTWatch and President of ADRIDEN Global Inc.
  • Communication During Emergencies with Sergeant II Cathy Riggs of the LAPD Topanga Division and Topanga Area Training Unit
  • Front Line Responders Workshop with Colonel Dr. Eyal Fruchter of the IDF, and Ms. Lucy Rimalower, Coordinator of the Jewish Community Crisis Response Team
  • Pre-Incident Indicators with Special Agent Jeffrey R. Cugno of the FBI, Special Agent & Primary National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) Coordinator
  • Executive Director’s “Round Table” on Security Trends & Challenges with Ivan Wolkind, Federation’s CFO and LAPD reserve officer, and Jason Periard, Director of Community Security
  • Federal Security Grants – Basic Overview with Ms. Renee A. Mota-Jackson, Chief, Infrastructure Protection Grants Unit (IPGU) at the Office of Grants Management Cal OES Govern’s Office of Emergency Services
  • Stress Reduction Techniques with Ms. Linda Feder, Relaxation and Self-Healing Instructor

Through these highly interactive break-out sessions, leaders from several different organizations got to know one another, learn from each other and gain important skills that will ultimately help our Jewish community better prepare for any emergency situations that may arise.

In addition, a community security fair brought several organizations to chat with participants in between sessions, including Infragard, American Red Cross, Los Angeles Fire Department, Los Angeles Police Department, FEMA and the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, who offered handouts regarding earthquake safety, child ID safety cards, emergency preparedness guides, and more.

This annual conference is just one of the many ways our Federation’s Community Security Initiative is keeping our local Jewish community safe and up to date on best practices for emergency situations.

Launched in 2012, our Federation’s Community Security Initiative partners with local, state and federal agencies to assure the safety and security of all Jewish institutions in greater Los Angeles. CSI links institutions to a network of Jewish communal organizations and provides site assessments, emergency and disaster training, and special events that ensure that if a threat arises for any one location, we are all prepared.

For more information about CSI, please contact Jason Periard at CSI@JewishLA.org.

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