SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security advised Jewish institutions on protecting themselves from terrorist threats.
About 500 Jewish agencies joined a 75-minute conference call on Wednesday focusing on security. The call was organized after the thwarted mail-bomb threat against two Jewish institutions in Chicago.
Paul Goldenberg, national director of the Secure Community Network, the central agency for Jewish communal security, said the call was part of a larger Department of Homeland Security effort to reach out to the Jewish community through the network.
The call included security briefings from two assistant undersecretaries and senior staffers from the Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Postal Service and the office of the Department of Homeland Security secretary.
Goldenberg said Homeland Security had planned to launch a significant outreach to Jewish communal institutions before last week’s bomb attempt following a flurry of recent anti-Jewish attack attempts, including the attempted bombing of a Bronx, New York synagoue in the summer of 2009.
“Chicago certainly accelerated it, but the DHS has ratcheted up its outreach to the Jewish community already,” he said.
Wednesday’s conference call followed a similar conference call Tuesday organized by the Anti-Defamation League that included speakers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and involved 200 Jewish organizational officials.
Chicago’s Jewish federation and the ADL are set to convene a security conference Thursday in Chicago, bringing together heads of local Jewish institutions with representatives of Homeland Security, the U.S. Postal Service, and local law enforcement.