In The News

Ahead of Passover, Homeland Security steps up effort to protect Jewish facilities and congregants

Colleyville. Pittsburgh. Poway.

Too many Jewish institutions are wondering if they’ll be next. Too many in Brooklyn, N.Y., and elsewhere already deal with the reality of anti-Semitic attacks that keep on coming.

The federal government says it stands ready to help ahead of the holiday season.

Marcus Coleman, director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, sat down one-on-one with JNS to explain what resources are available for those looking to secure their facilities and worshippers, and what steps can be taken to ensure that this Passover is a safe one for American Jews.

“We had a conversation last week with faith leaders and really focused on practical steps to do self-assessment for facilities—how to take care of your people—and then just some reminders. I think one of the things that I’ve been humbled by in speaking with faith leaders across the country is that a lot of places still are operating at maybe 50% capacity, or they have just a few people coming in. We know those folks are preparing for the spring. They’re expecting big crowds. So, we want to provide all available resources from the federal government to help make sure that they can gather safely,” said Coleman, who hosted a webinar last week titled, “Protecting Places of Worship: A Religious Observance Briefing on Safety and Security.”

Read More: JNS