Jewish Federation of Greater Washington appoints new security director

Russell H. “Rusty” Rosenthal will work to ensure the safety of the Jewish community in Washington, D.C.; suburban Maryland; and Northern Virginia.

The National Jewish Security Operations Command Center, or JSOCC, in Chicago. Credit: Courtesy.
The National Jewish Security Operations Command Center, or JSOCC, in Chicago. Credit: Courtesy.

 The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington has named former FBI executive Russell H. “Rusty” Rosenthal as its new executive director of regional security, beginning in November.

Rosenthal and his team will oversee and work to ensure the safety and security of the Jewish community in Washington, D.C.; suburban Maryland; and Northern Virginia. This new, in-house hire enhances Federation’s local security capacity with the launch of an independent, internal base of operations and builds upon five years of partnership with the Secure Community Network (SCN).

Rosenthal most recently served as vice president, security and law enforcement for the Anti-Defamation League. He joins Federation with 25 years of investigative, executive leadership and legal experience with the FBI, including in Israel, where he led the FBI office from 2019-22.

Rosenthal has an extensive operational background in high-risk, complex environments and has led diverse teams in investigating cyber, counterterrorism, criminal and internal investigations. This expertise, coupled with his significant experience in evaluating security vulnerabilities, conducting risk assessments and developing risk mitigation plans, will be a tremendous asset to the Greater Washington community and Federation.

“We are proud to welcome Rusty to Federation and expand the support of our Jewish community’s security in this way,” said Gil Preuss, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. “We move forward with gratitude to SCN for their partnership in meeting Greater Washington’s security needs, and we look forward to their continued guidance and collaboration. As we address our local security, the groundwork we’ve laid with SCN, paired with Rusty’s leadership, will be crucial as we continue anticipating, proactively preparing for and responding to security needs with immediacy and focus.”

Rosenthal will partner closely with local Jewish institutions, including synagogues, schools and Jewish Community Centers, to support their security needs, enhance their emergency-preparedness posture and conduct safety training. He will also work with local law enforcement to guarantee that Jewish Greater Washington’s security needs are considered and addressed proactively and across all jurisdictions.

“I look forward to working with the Greater Washington Jewish community to advance our security and safety at this critical moment,” said Rosenthal. “Federation understands that building partnerships and cooperation are key to strengthening security, and I am confident that together, we can put Jewish Greater Washington in the best position possible to be aware, prepared and resilient in the face of any potential threats.”

Federation president Robin Hettleman Weinberg added: “Federation is committed to ensuring that our local organizations have the support necessary to meet our diverse community’s needs, including a strong, thoughtful and proactive approach to safety and security. Rusty’s experience ensures that we can serve as their strategic communal partner in this essential work.”

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