Years-long security efforts have continued and have recently been redoubled in Milwaukee, said Ari Friedman, director of security and community properties for the Federation.
Over the last year, local synagogues have seen active assailant training from law enforcement professionals and from Friedman, he said. Also, educational sessions for representatives of local Jewish institutions have been held at the Federation.
In recent months, nineteen congregations and other institutions have applied for Federation security grants of up to $10,000 each, to pay for professional security guards.
Friedman said he has highly encouraged synagogues to have cell phones available, regardless of their level of practice. He visited nine local synagogues during the High Holy Days to meet with security teams.
Friedman advises that people in the community are not powerless. They can empower themselves by becoming more situationally aware.
“When I go to a restaurant I consider where the exits are,” he said. “Knowing where the exits are and observing your surroundings can be empowering. Report things that you see that are unusual.”
But he also advises people to find a balance and live comfortably – most of us are unlikely to ever be involved in a violent crime.