The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Monday the appointment of 25 members to the new Faith-Based Security Advisory Council, which will consult with the Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas on the security needs of various faith communities.

“These prominent faith and law enforcement leaders will help us build and strengthen the community partnerships that are so vital to our mission success,” said Mayorkas. “We will work together to increase access to our services, ensure equity, maintain openness and transparency and fully restore the trust of the communities we serve.”

The DHS said the Council’s contributions will advance the department’s efforts to protect houses of worship; improve coordination and information-sharing of threats to faith communities; and prevent, protect and respond to targeted acts of violence, terrorism and other threats.

The new council is comprised of members from various faiths and denominations, including Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh communities, as well as law enforcement. Those appointed to the Council from the Jewish community are Rabbi Moshe Hauer, executive vice president of the Orthodox Union; Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism and senior vice president of the Union for Reform Judaism; and Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, CEO emerita of the Rabbinical Assembly.

The new Council’s first meeting will be organized by Mayorkas and held virtually on Oct. 6.


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