(August 8, 2019 / JNS) The Canada-based organization Federation CJA started a $10 million fundraising campaign aimed at increasing and improving coordinated security at Jewish institutions in Montreal.
Thirty-one Jewish establishments, including synagogues, schools and agencies, are part of the Federation’s Community Security Network, which focuses on upgrading infrastructure, training staff at institutions and raising awareness about the need for a collaborative effort towards security.
The goal is to make the Community Security Network the “single point of contact for critical incident co-ordination, information and intelligence sharing, as well as safety and security training,” said Yair Szlak, the chief executive officer of Federation CJA, reported The Canadian Jewish News.
The campaign is in response to the rise in anti-Semitism and violent hate crimes around the world, said Szlak. The money will not go towards hiring security guards, which is the responsibility of the individual institutions; instead, there will be an added focus on improved surveillance technology.
The new security measures are expected to be in place within the next 18 months.
The 31 institutions will be expected to contribute financially, and CJA is also working with the federal government’s Security Infrastructure Program, which issues grants to help with the costs of upgrades to buildings located in communities with a history of hate-motivated crime, according to The Canadian Jewish News.
The Federation is urging Jewish community members to be vigilant, with Szlak saying, “As I learned from my time in Israel, if you see something, say something.”
Jews are the most targeted minority group when it comes to hate crimes in Canada, despite a 4 percent decrease from the year before.
According to B’nai Brith Canada, 2,041 anti-Semitic incidents in Canada were reported in 2018.