New York, NY, September 30, 2021 – The Community Security Service (The CSS) and ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) announced today the forging of a partnership centered around improving the safety of the Jewish community through intelligence, information sharing and security training for Jewish volunteers.
The partnership will connect subject matter experts from ADL’s Center on Extremism (COE) with The CSS’s national network of over 5,000 trained security volunteers – who help protect hundreds of Jewish institutions and events across the country – to improve volunteers’ awareness of the latest manifestations of antisemitism and extremism. Additionally, The CSS will share information and reports from its regional volunteers who serve on the frontlines of Jewish security nationally with ADL’s experts so that they can detect trends.
“The recent rise in antisemitic incidents and reported hate crimes bears out the need for partnering in a way that seeks to tangibly improve the security of American Jewish institutions,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “Through this partnership, The CSS’s security volunteers will gain increased knowledge of the nature and scope of antisemitism, and ADL’s experts, who monitor these trends, will have an improved understanding about the security situation on the ground.”
Mr. Greenblatt added: “The CSS has successfully established a security volunteer model long employed by Jewish communities across the globe, one that has proven successful in protecting institutions and saving lives. We look forward to combining our respective capabilities in order to create an even higher level of protection for our community.”
“Each of our organizations plays a distinct role in the ongoing fight against the rise of antisemitism and the myriad of violent extremist actors targeting our community,” said Evan R. Bernstein, CSS National Director and CEO. “At the same time, in order for us as a community to lower our vulnerability in the face of tangible threats and intractable issues like anti-Jewish animus, it is incumbent upon us to pool our resources and expertise in meaningful and measurable ways.”
The partnership will also be focused on ensuring that all members of the Jewish community are safe, with particular engagement with marginalized groups within and outside of the Jewish community.
The two national organizations, as per a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding, will provide recurring training for each of its relevant stakeholders. The CSS’s volunteers will receive training from ADL’s experts on national trends and the importance of reporting and defining antisemitic incidents and hate crimes. ADL’s staff and lay leadership will also have an ongoing opportunity to attend in-person and virtual security training programs and briefings from The CSS’s security experts and staff.
About The Community Security Service (The CSS):
The CSS is the leading Jewish volunteer security nonprofit organization in the United States. Founded in 2007, The CSS was the first organization to bring to the United States a mindset long held by sister communities around the world, that protecting Jewish life and Jewish way of life starts with taking ownership of our own security. The CSS is focused on training volunteers in basic security procedures to help protect their institutions and events across the country. Through programs developed by foremost industry security experts, and tailored to various levels of interest and ability, volunteers learn to identify suspicious activity and prevent and respond to potential threatening situations. To date, The CSS has created a national network of over 5,000 trained volunteers, which help to protect hundreds of synagogues and events each year. Visit www.thecss.org.