WASHINGTON (JTA) — Jewish security officials from five North American cities joined top police officers in a tour of Israel to examine its security practices.
Four U.S. metropolitan areas — Cleveland, Memphis, Detroit and Kansas City, the site of a deadly attack on Jewish institutions last year — are represented on the weeklong trip by Jewish security officials and senior police officers.
Also joining the tour, organized by Secure Community Network, the security arm of the national Jewish community, are directors of security for Montreal’s Jewish community and a representative of the New Jersey State Police. In addition, a senior official of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is accompanying the group, which arrived in Israel on Sunday.
SCN, affiliated with the Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, has long emphasized the importance of building relationships with local police. JFNA and local federations are paying for the tour.
The aim of the trip is to examine Israeli methods of increasing public awareness of a security threat. Israeli officials will brief participants on terrorism, international threats and cybersecurity, among other issues.
The timing of the massive terrorist attack in Paris over the weekend made the need for the training especially acute, said SCN’s director, Paul Goldenberg.
“The events in Paris, with well-planned and coordinated attacks on innocent civilians at soft targets, highlights the importance of an approach which brings together community, security professionals and law enforcement,” he said in a statement.