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Community’s security arm joins White House forum on emergency plans

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The national Jewish community’s security arm took part in a White House conference on creating a model emergency plan for schools and houses of worship.

Paul Goldenberg, the national director of the Secure Community Network, which is affiliated with the Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations, joined law enforcement, education and faith leaders on Feb. 27 at a White House event called "Taking Action: Creating Model Emergency Management Plans for Schools, Institutions of Higher Education, and Houses of Worship."

The event, derived from a series of executive orders issued by President Obama in the wake of the massacre of schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn., in December, included addresses by Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, as well as a top FBI official.

Also attending were survivors of gun violence.

"What I emphasized is that the Jewish community was compelled to engage because over the last decade we’ve seen an unprecedented number of planned attacks against Jewish communities here in the United States," Goldenberg told JTA.

Goldenberg, a vice chairman of the Department of Homeland Security’s Faith-Based Homeland Security Committee, said the Jewish community’s model was now being emulated by other faith communities.

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