Jewish Organization Training Volunteers To Help Secure Synagogues

Published: Monday, September 16, 2019 - 8:19am
Updated: Monday, September 16, 2019 - 11:24am

As Jewish-Americans around the country prepare to enter their High Holy Days beginning with Rosh Hashanah in less than two weeks, many are looking at security within their synagogues.

Valley resident Ian Turner contacted the Los Angeles Community Security Service organization before he formed Arizona’s local chapter.

“The Community Security Service is an organization that essentially helps with organizing synagogues to put boots on the ground.”

He said he was moved to do something after last October’s deadly attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Each chapter teaches volunteers how to spot anti-Semitic sentiments escalating into potential threats.

“I think everyone has an agenda,” said Turner, “and, my agenda is pretty clear and it’s singular; I want the Jews in Arizona to be organized and prepared for these types of situations."

CSS, he said, has trained more than 5,000 volunteers nationwide over the past decade and the organization needs more help.

“We’re looking for people to donate and to volunteer their time,” Turner explained and expanded on the type of volunteers needed, “Somebody who is community minded and really has an open mind and is trying to get educated.”

Turner explained that because synagogue leaders cannot see all signs of a threat, the organization trains volunteers to work like "Trojan Horses" to observe anomalies, deter potential attacks and communicate with law enforcement before violence erupts.

He said Arizona’s chapter is building that volunteer force now.

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