Office of Community Security

Jewish communities worldwide are responding to an increase in anti-Semitism and acts of violence. Because of this, many communities are reassessing the way they ensure community members' safety. Here at the Jewish Federation of Broward County, we actively develop and coordinate a unified approach to critical safety and security needs. We have created and maintained a culture of security awareness, preparedness and disaster response, and proactive and reactive protocols for the Jewish community. Here are some of the ways we ensure safety in our community:

Security Advice and Consultation: The foundation of a security program begins with assessing an institution or organization's current security posture. Our security team can advise and coach the institution through that process. The team will meet with the organization's leadership to identify needs and develop a roadmap to build a strong safety and security posture and culture. Our team also conducts formal Threat, Vulnerability, and Risk Assessments (TVRAs) to support security planning and applications for grant monies from federal, state, and local governments for security enhancements.
Safety and Security Training: One of the most effective, no-cost measures to enhance a Jewish organization's safety and security posture is the training of its members, staff, and others in situational awareness, Active Threat Response, and Greeter-Usher practices. These classes, and others, customized to each organization's needs, build personal confidence, preparedness, and resilience in the face of a crisis or emergency and begin the development of a safety and security culture in the organization.

The Jewish Federation of Broward County's Director of Community Security, Mitchell Tapper, has taken extraordinary steps to enhance our community's safety, security and preparedness posture. Mitchell brings 30 years of law enforcement experience and is dedicated to ensuring that the Jewish community is as secure as possible. 

We encourage you to make use of the resources that we offer through the Office of Community Security. Contact us today at or call 312.806.1667 

The following information is being sent out to the community to increase your situational awareness and overall security posture for the upcoming Jewish High Holidays. This information has been compiled from various federal law enforcement and intelligence partners as well as other security sources and provides an overview of the current threat environment facing the Jewish community, specifically in the context of current conditions related to the forthcoming High Holidays, 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and complex geopolitical relations, including the recent withdrawal from Afghanistan.  that may serve as a catalyst for acts of targeted violence. These threats include those from various individuals and groups, including Violent Extremists (VEs), Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs), and individuals and/or groups who may feel inspired or motivated by violent extremist ideologies or other grievances. Many of these threat actors have increasingly been observed utilizing social media and other online platforms as a means for recruitment, inciting violence, and spreading violent extremist narratives, particularly geared towards inspiring potential future attacks.

There are no known credible threats to the Jewish community at this time although the Jewish high holidays do represent what may be considered a higher profile target for an attacker making synagogues and services more vulnerable. Organizations and institutions should work to proactively review, adapt, and implement security plans and procedures to protect staff, visitors, and facilities. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to follow established protocols for reporting suspicious activity, including contacting local law enforcement and/or the relevant suspicious activity reporting authority and reporting to the Jewish Federation of Broward County, Office of Community Security. Leadership and security personnel are also encouraged to remain situationally aware and to proactively implement facility and security best practices that effectively address different areas of vulnerability and methods of attack.

Indicators of Suspicious Activity:

Law enforcement sources have identified a multitude of criminal and non-criminal activities which could indicate pre-operational planning associated with terrorism when supported by facts or circumstances that clearly support the determination that the behavior observed is not innocent. It is important to understand that these are not inherently criminal behaviors, may include constitutionally protected activity, and are being provided as a non-exhaustive list of activities that we encourage Jewish facilities and organizations to report as suspicious activity. These activities, which are relevant to the Jewish community and that would warrant suspicious activity reporting to law enforcement and/or the relevant suspicious activity reporting authority, as well as to the Jewish Federation of Broward County, Office of Community Security. Please make sure that your ushers and security personnel are situationally aware and sensitive to the below-described behavior.

Defined Criminal Activity:

• Expressed or Implied Threat:  Communicating a spoken or written threat to commit a crime that will result in death or bodily injury to another person or persons or damage or compromise a facility or institution.

•  Cyberattack: Compromising or attempting to compromise or disrupt an organization’s information technology infrastructure.

•  Theft/Loss/Diversion:  Stealing or diverting something associated with a facility or institution (badges, uniforms, identification, technology, or documents), which are proprietary to the facility or institution.

•  Sabotage/Tampering/Vandalism: Damaging, manipulating, defacing, or destroying a part of a facility or institution.

•  Breach/Attempted Intrusion: Unauthorized personnel attempting to enter or entering a facility or institution, including a restricted area, securely protected site, or non-public area. Impersonation of authorized personnel.

•  Misrepresentation: Presenting false information or misusing insignia, documents, and/or identification to represent one’s affiliation as a means of concealing possible illegal activity

Potential Criminal or Non-Criminal Activity:

• Eliciting Information: Questioning individuals or otherwise soliciting information at a level beyond mere curiosity about a public or private event or particular facets of a facility’s or building’s purpose, operations, security procedures, etc., in a manner that would arouse suspicion of terrorism or other criminality in a reasonable person.

• Testing or Probing of Security: Deliberate interactions with, or challenges to, installations, personnel, or systems that reveal physical, personnel, or cybersecurity capabilities in a manner that would arouse suspicion of terrorism or other criminality in a reasonable person.

•  Photography: Taking pictures or videos of persons, facilities, buildings, or infrastructure in an unusual or surreptitious manner that would arouse suspicion of terrorism or other criminality in a reasonable person. Examples include taking pictures or video of infrequently used access points, personnel performing security functions (e.g., patrols, badge/vehicle checking), security-related equipment (e.g., perimeter fencing, security cameras), etc.

•  Observation / Surveillance: Demonstrating unusual or prolonged interest in facilities, buildings, or institutions beyond mere casual or professional interest and in a manner that would arouse suspicion of terrorism or other criminality in a reasonable person. Examples include observation through binoculars, taking notes, attempting to mark off or measure distances, etc.

Active Shooter Attacks: Security Awareness for Soft Targets and Crowded Places – DHS

Mass Gatherings: Take Charge of Your Personal Safety - DHS

Recognize the Signs of Terrorism-Related Suspicious Activity – DHS

The Office of Community Security Wishes you

A Happy & Safe New Year