UJF Remains Committed To Safety In Our Communities

With forty-one percent of American Jews saying their status in the United States is less secure compared to a year ago according to a report with the American Jewish Committee, United Jewish Federation remains committed to safety in our communities in 2023.

Throughout 2022 alone, Michael Shanbrom (Regional Security Advisor for Southern and Western, Connecticut) conducted over 40 training sessions and threat assessments across Connecticut to help keep communities and institutions safe. Hired by UJF in 2021, Mike has years of experience with Secure Community Network (SCN), the FBI, local law enforcement, and was brought on by a consortium of four Federations - Stamford, New Canaan, and Darien, UJA-JCC Greenwich, New Haven and Western Connecticut - to assess and improve security protocols and assist in emergency preparedness. 

“Across America, we are witnessing alarming increases in mass attacks and crimes targeting our Jewish communities. The threats facing us are very real, and Jewish communities in Southern and Western Connecticut are not immune, but there is much we can do to help protect each other. That’s why it is imperative that we continue to work together to identify threats, make our Jewish community facilities harder to target, and prepare for and train to survive a potential active threat,” said Mike. 

As Regional Security Advisor, Mike has reached out to all synagogues, schools, and agencies, conducted on-site training in “Situational Awareness” and “Countering Active Threat” and conducted formal security assessments. These assessments are a necessary part of applications for the federal Nonprofit Security Grant (NPSG) Program. During his first year, Mike assisted several local organizations in obtaining hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funds to enhance security. 

“The security assessment is an eye-opening experience. We all are familiar with our synagogues and community buildings from our regular interactions, but until you see the facilities the way an experienced security professional sees them, you might be missing major vulnerabilities,” commented Sharon Lewis, Director of UJF’s Jewish Community Relations Council. 

The Federal NPSG program will continue to be funded this year (and is something Jewish Federations of North America lobbies for). Mike will be available to assist any organizations which need help with this process. Mike also serves as a conduit between the local Jewish community organizations, law enforcement, and the SCN’s 24-hour National Jewish Security Operations Command Center. 

He has also been working closely with local law enforcement, as well as federal and state partners, to ensure collaboration and the sharing of threat information. In addition, Mike has built a one-stop online Jewish community security resource website at www.securejewishct.org. Mike may be reached at mshanbrom@securecommunitynetwork.org.