In Aftermath of Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre

(Brussels, Tuesday, 30 October 2018) – The European Jewish Congress’ Security and Crisis Centre (SACC) has offered its knowledge, experience and expertise to the American Jewish community in general and the Pittsburgh Jewish community in particular after the shooting massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue which claimed the lives of 11 worshipers on Saturday.

“Unfortunately, the European Jewish community has a lot of experience with such attacks, and after each terrorist attack we understood better how to prepare for the next one to try and prevent it or at least lessen its impact,” said EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor. “Given the new reality the American Jewish community is facing, we are offering our assistance with how to better protect our communities and to deal with any future crises.”

“Attacks on the Jewish community in places like France, Belgium and Denmark in recent years have taught us hard lessons about how to balance security needs while continuing to ensure Jews feel safe and secure and Jewish life continues as normally as possible.” Kantor added.

The SACC is a Brussels-based team of internationally-renowned crisis management experts which assists countries and communities prepare and face crises and emergencies utilising the latest technologies, and the necessary means and amenities for supporting a large-scale community crisis event.

The SACC’s expertly trained crisis managers, who have many years of experience in the fields of security and crisis management, are already in consultations with their American counterparts to help, prepare and train in order to enable maximum cooperation during a crisis.

“The security doctrine you see in Europe is the result of decades of evolution,” said Ophir Revach, SACC CEO. “It was built on lessons from terrorist attacks monitored over decades and adjusted constantly. It’s pretty comprehensive.”

“American Jewry is only now at the beginning of a long journey, but they do not need to reinvent the wheel as we can assist them in shortening this journey dramatically with our knowledge, experience and expertise.”

SACC helps a community establish a crisis management team, support in training of team members, as well as regular follow-ups to make sure that a community is prepared to handle any situation – whether it is a terror attack, natural disaster, or any other crisis.

The SACC Crisis Managers are available 24/7 through a quick-reaction communication system run and maintained by SACC by EJC which allows them to act according to the circumstances. Additionally, it organises training seminars and conferences with the aim to help improve the connection between Jewish communities, security experts and officials in order to enable maximum cooperation during a crisis.

Only last month, SACC started releasing a series of ten videos called the Security Awareness Program (#TogetherWeAreSafer) that aims to educate and prepare the general public about emerging threats and how to deal with crises. Some of the videos include how to spot suspicious behavior or a suspicious object, how to deal with a car ramming or prevent a kidnapping. Other videos educate about how to protect your data online and how to spot fake identities on social media platforms, how to give CPR and how to identify radicalization.