(September 5, 2021, JNS Wire) As concern heightens surrounding the safety of synagogues amid rising antisemitism, CCL Shul Members—a Chicago nonprofit organization—recently trained dozens of individuals on how to serve as shul safety greeters, screening shul attendees to head off any potential threats to Synagogue congregants.
The four-hour course, which was presented by Shul Security Director Carmi Lawrence, included training on reading body language, greeter skills, and tactics, soft interrogation skills, detecting hidden weapons, legal authority, dealing with threats, and more. The course also featured Guest Speaker Sgt. Anthony Anderson who shared his expertise as a Law Enforcement Surveillance and Behavioral Threat Detection Specialist to help greeters protect their communities. By ensuring that shul greeters are given the appropriate tools necessary to screen those entering a synagogue, CCL Shul Members is putting resources in place that will both detect a potential attacker and help defend against it, should an attack occur.
“One of the most critical layers of security a shul can employ is an effective greeter / screener program,” said Lawrence. “And it’s crucial that every shul have people who are prepared and trained to act in self-defense if, G-d forbid, the need arises.”
The course—which was restricted to those who serve on their Shul Safety Team—is part of the larger Shul Safety Officer course offered by CCL Shul Members, which goes far beyond the 20-hour training course required for security officers by the State of Illinois. The 60-plus-hour Shul Safety Officer course thoroughly vets candidates and includes medical training, greeter/screener training, professional defensive training, and additional advanced first responder training courses. This rigorous voluntary training ensures that people who choose to protect their loved ones, friends, and community members do so responsibly and safely.
CCL Shul Members Shul Safety Officer program is currently training dozens of candidates and operates in 27-plus Chicagoland shuls. For more information about CCL Shul Members, visit CCLShulMembers.org.