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Prepare for the High Holidays with Security Webinars

By Secure Community Network

The Secure Community Network (SCN) is holding a High Holidays Safety and Security Webinar Series for members of the Jewish community.  


Please join SCN, security executives, law enforcement, and professional as well as volunteer leadership to prepare for the safety and security challenges facing the Jewish community this High Holiday season. 

The webinars are: 

All webinars will be held from 2 to 3:30pm ET and are free to attend. Click the links to register for these critical safety seminars.  

Brian Davis

Meet Our New Security Director

By Secure Community Network

The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and the Secure Community Network Announce Hiring of Former FBI Supervisory Special Agent Brian Davis to Bolster Community Safety and Security 

Davis Will Advise, Direct, and Enhance the Community Security Program to Reach Jewish Communities Across Greater Atlanta 


ATLANTA, GA – The Secure Community Network (SCN), the official safety and security organization for the Jewish community in North America, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta today announced the hiring of Brian Davis as Community Security Director. Davis will continue to grow the existing community security program in Atlanta — one of the oldest in the country — reporting to Neil Rabinovitz, Southeast Regional Director for SCN based in Atlanta, and supervising Deputy Community Security Director Bryan Underwood. The Atlanta program, which Brian Davis will now oversee, is designed to increase safety and security for all those who participate in synagogues, day schools, museums, service organizations, and other centers of Jewish life.  

“SCN is proud of our partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and excited to announce Brian as its new Community Security Director,” said Michael Masters, National Director and CEO of the Secure Community Network. “Our goal is to ensure the safety, security, and resiliency of all Jewish communities, and this partnership, and hire, is helping to do just that.” 

“The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta is excited to continue its partnership with SCN and formally welcome Brian to our team,” said Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta President and CEO Eric Robbins.As America faces dramatic increases in antisemitic threats and incidents, Jewish communal security has never been more important. Brian has extensive experience and knowledge of safety and security issues, making him an enormous asset to our community.” 

The Federation program is part of the growing network of Jewish Federations and communities that have partnered with SCN to launch community-wide security programs designed around an “all threats, all hazards” approach to preparedness, safety, security, and resiliency. Each program is connected to SCN’s national operations, providing direct access to SCN’s National Jewish Security Operations Command Center and Duty Desk, as well as best practice security resources and support related to policies, procedures, physical security, facility assessments, training, and incident response.  

The Atlanta security initiative is being made possible through professional support from the Federation & SCN; funding through the collaborative efforts of the Federation local donors; community partner organizations, and national donor support from SCN and LiveSecure, the historic partnership between The Jewish Federations of North America and SCN to fund and create a collective security framework for every Jewish community across North America.

“In our journey to ensure that every Jewish community has a strong security initiative necessary for flourishing Jewish life, we’re thrilled to see that Atlanta is taking steps to expand its security program. I look forward to working with the community to raise the necessary matching funds as it continues on its journey to secure the Jewish community,” said Jewish Federations of North America Chair Julie Platt. 

Prior to joining SCN, Davis spent 29 years in law enforcement. Located in Atlanta, Davis served as the Supervisory Special Agent over the Transnational Organized Crimes Unit of the Western Hemisphere. He also served as Supervisory Special Agent in Washington DC, as the Program Manager for the Public Corruption Unit.  

As an FBI Special Agent, Davis worked with federal, state, and local law enforcement to investigate and solve a range of high-profile and complex criminal cases such as hate crimes, civil rights violations, public corruption, violent crimes, bank robberies, kidnappings, and fugitives. 

Prior to his 21 years with the FBI, Davis was the lead investigator for the Narcotics Unit of the Gaston County Police in North Carolina for eight years.  

“It is an honor for me to work with the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and SCN and use my experience to contribute to the safety and security of the Jewish community in Greater Atlanta,” said Davis. “I look forward to building on the strong security program here led by Neil Rabinowitz, and to help this Jewish community thrive.” 

Davis will succeed former Community Security Director Neil Rabinowitz. Neil was hired in April of 2020 by SCN to manage the security program, and will now be overseeing it as a Regional Director.  

Update on Community Safety

By Secure Community Network

Federation and the Secure Communities Network (SCN) want to update Jewish Atlanta on community safety following activity by antisemitic groups over the weekend. We also want to remind our community of a timely, free security training class being offered next month to all members of Jewish Atlanta. Countering Active Threat Training will be Wednesday, July 19, at 7 PM on Zoom. Click here to register for this free class.

On Friday, June 23, approximately 15 individuals demonstrated with the so-called “Goyim Defense League” (GDL) outside of Temple Beth Israel in Macon, GA. Local police arrived at the scene and arrested GDL leader Jon Minadeo for disturbance of the peace and other minor charges; he posted bond and was released hours later. On Saturday, Minadeo and other GDL protesters returned to Temple Beth Israel and were twice removed by the police. On Saturday afternoon, GDL also appeared at the Chabad of East Cobb.

On Saturday evening and Sunday, June 25, GDL distributed antisemitic flyers in several neighborhoods throughout East Cobb and Sandy Springs. Federation’s Deputy Security Director Bryan Underwood said, “Their practice is to anchor the flyers with something so that they won’t blow away. Sometimes they use pebbles or sand to do this; yesterday they used goat feed. Many concerned citizens mistook the goat feed for rat poison. In case you heard anything about this, I want to be clear: the substance used was not rat poison.”

Security experts do not believe that GDL poses an immediate threat to the people of Jewish Atlanta. Bryan says, “In my opinion, GDL does not present a significant, direct threat of violence. They generally communicate their reprehensible beliefs within the protections afforded by first amendment and free speech. They are very careful not to cross bright legal lines which would lead to any serious criminal exposure. They tend to be very active in a location for a few days with their protests and flyering, then move on to somewhere else. However, they do pose an indirect threat because an unstable lone actor could be inspired by their rhetoric. So, please exercise a heightened sense of awareness.” Remember that you can use Federation’s online incident reporting system to report any suspicious activity that might post a threat to Atlanta’s Jewish community.

Federation is home to Atlanta’s SCN program, which works around the clock to keep the entire Jewish community of Atlanta safe. Atlanta’s synagogues, day schools, nonprofit organizations, and more are all monitored by SCN.

“We are thankful for the quick response of law enforcement to the despicable acts of this weekend, and grateful for the expertise of our security team and our partners. It’s important to remember that the number of people in the world who hold such bigoted beliefs are very small, as this incident shows. The strength and resilience of Jewish Atlanta is much stronger than a tiny group of agitators,” said Federation’s President and CEO, Eric M. Robbins.

Federation and our community partners—including the ADL, Hillels of Georgia, and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) are working with law enforcement to monitor the situation in Georgia. We will be sure to alert our community with any updates.

Combating Antisemitism

By Secure Community Network

Last week, residents of Sandy Springs and Dunwoody awoke to a chilling sight—antisemitic flyers had been strewn across driveways, lawns, and sidewalks. It is clearly no accident that these flyers were dropped in two Atlanta suburbs with a large Jewish population. Luckily, the revolting flyers seem to be having the opposite of their intended affect; many people in the Jewish community say that their non-Jewish neighbors have been standing up and speaking out.

Georgia Senate Minority Leader Gloria Butler, of Stone Mountain, who is not Jewish, made an impassioned, unscheduled speech on the floor on Monday. “No one, not one Georgian, should ever wake up to hate. And as many of you well know, this isn’t the first time Jewish Georgians have been targeted.” She detailed not only historical incidents of antisemitism in Atlanta, but the well-documented rise of attacks against Jews in the last several years.

Her remarks were also hopeful and comforting for many who heard them. She said that, as a Black woman, she stands in solidarity with the Jewish community. “I understand what it feels like to be targeted on the basis of your identity.” She said she is proud that the Hate Crimes Law was passed in Georgia last year. You can click here to watch her remarks in full; they begin at 1:15:46.

Federation and its community partners—including the ADL, Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) are working with law enforcement to monitor the situation in Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. Federation is home to Atlanta’s Secure Community Network (SCN) program, which works around the clock to keep the entire Jewish community of Atlanta safe. Atlanta’s synagogues, day schools, nonprofit organizations, and more are all protected by SCN.

Neil Rabinovitz, Atlanta’s Director of Community Security, says “We, along with SCN’s cadre of intelligence analysts, work behind the scenes on a daily basis with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners in a coordinated effort to share information and intelligence, and monitor community events in order to keep our community safe.”

He also wants to remind Atlantans that Federation and SCN have set up an anonymous threat-reporting system. “We encourage every member of our community to remain vigilant and to report anything suspicious or concerning, no matter how small, to us through Federation’s online incident reporting system.”

But many people are still wondering what they can do to combat antisemitism before violence or threats occur. In December, the ADL reported that the FBI’s hate crime data showed at least 238 hate crime incidents in Georgia in 2021—an increase from 195 incidents in 2020, and the highest number of incidents in over two decades.

On Wednesday, the National Council for Jewish Women hosted a panel called Antisemitism: Where Do We Go from Here? at The Temple. Moderated by Julie Katz, the Assistant Director of AJC in Atlanta, the panel featured Jeremy Lichtig, Campus Director for Hillel University of Georgia (UGA), and Stephanie Guiloff, the Director of Internal Communications and Advocacy for AJC in Washington, D.C.

Stephanie shared an important key to framing antisemitism, “We can’t let hatred against our community define us; we have to let pride define us.” She also revealed a statistic from an AJC study that was released just yesterday: 9 in 10 Americans—Jewish and non-Jewish—believe that antisemitism is a problem for everyone. This suggests that despite recent acts of violence and intimidation, the vast majority of Americans are not prejudiced against Jewish people.

Jeremy recounted the swift response to an incident in the fall, when an antisemitic message was broadcast against the side of a stadium in Jacksonville, Florida following the UGA/University of Florida football game. He said that the response from both universities, the cities of Athens and Jacksonville, student government leaders, and more was swift, and reflected the seriousness of the event. Months later, they are still actively working with DEI groups, students, and faculty to address what happened and prevent future incidents. Recently, fifteen of UGA’s student athletes attended a Shabbat dinner hosted by Hillel, where Jeremy says, “the Band-Aid was ripped off,” and vital conversations began.

All three of the panelists urged attendants to contact their Georgia state legislators and tell them to support House Bill 30, which asks the State of Georgia to recognize the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism. AJC and the ADL both support the bill, which would make it easier for anti-Jewish acts to be prosecuted as hate crimes in Georgia.

Senator Butler also mentioned the bill in her speech and urged her colleagues to pass it. “I hope you will support us in our endeavor to ensure Georgia is a place where hate against any community is not only untolerated [sic], but staunchly rejected,” she said. “Our communities stand together in the tradition of love, and it is up to each of us to demonstrate that love for one another through action in the face of injustice.”

While antisemitic acts in our community are sobering, they do not define Jewish Atlanta—not to its members, or to its allies. If nothing else, this week showed us that Jewish Atlantans are not alone in our fight to end hatred.

Federation Awarded LiveSecure Grant to Enhance Community Security

By Secure Community Network

Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) has awarded a substantial security grant through LiveSecure to Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. The matching grant, secured thanks to donations raised by our Federation, will enhance overall security for Jewish organizations all over Atlanta’s metro area.

LiveSecure is a $130 million campaign launched by JFNA in 2021 with the goal of securing every Jewish community across North America and saving lives. It is the largest initiative in history to secure North American Jewish communities.

Eric Fingerhut, President and CEO of Jewish Federations of North America, says, “LiveSecure is the collective responsibility of every Jewish community. This campaign is a tremendous investment in our Jewish future, because only when we can safely and freely participate in Jewish communal life can we build flourishing Jewish communities.”

Atlanta’s Jewish community raised $1.5 million in order to receive the full matching grant of $750,000 from LiveSecure. The funds will be used by Federation to hire a dedicated grant writer for non-profit security grant applications, provide security for community-wide events and festivals, begin the initial phase of installing a community-wide panic alarm system, and more.

Neil Rabinovitz, Atlanta’s Community Security Director, says “This grant and subsequent fundraising will enable us to enhance overall security throughout the entire community. We’re so thankful for all the donors who recognized this need to keep the community safe and secure.”

Atlanta’s Jewish organizations (including Federation, the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, synagogues, day schools, and other organizations and agencies) are protected by the Secure Community Network (SCN), the official safety and security organization of the Jewish community in North America.  SCN was established by JFNA and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in the aftermath of 9/11 to secure the American Jewish community. Over the last two decades, community security initiatives across the continent, including those managed in partnership with SCN, have saved countless lives and thwarted a multitude of potential threats against Jewish people and institutions.

The LiveSecure grant comes at a timely moment, as we observe the one-year anniversary of the Colleyville hostage crisis. Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, of Colleyville’s Congregation Beth Israel, has credited the security training he received through SCN to saving his life, and the other hostage’s lives, during the attack. This grant will ensure that Atlanta’s Jews continue to have access to the highest possible level of security infrastructure.

New Online Form Makes It Easier to Report Threats Against the Jewish Community

By Secure Community Network

Federation is partnering with the Secure Community Network (SCN) to launch an online form for the public to report threats, incidents, and suspicious activity related to the Jewish community. This standardized form will be available nationwide and will ensure a timely and accurate response to any threat against Jewish organizations, facilities, or community members. 

SCN is the official safety and security organization for the Jewish community in North America. Information reported through the form goes immediately to Federation’s security professionals, as well as the 24-hour Duty Desk at SCN’s National Jewish Security Operations Command Center. SCN’s team of intelligence analysts will communicate with local Federation security personnel and determine which people or facilities are at risk, and the appropriate next steps. Credible threats will be referred to local, state, or federal law enforcement agencies, as needed. 

The new form can, and should, be used to report in-person assaults or threats, suspicious activity, vandalism, suspicious packages or letters, antisemitic flyers, threatening phone calls, text messages, or social media posts, or any other incident of concern to the Jewish community. Reports can also be made anonymously.   

The form is available on Federation’s website. Please bookmark it so you can access it quickly if you ever need to do so.  

Eric M. Robbins, President and CEO of Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, says, “Our new online reporting form is one of the many ways that Federation is working to protect the Jewish community, along with our partner organizations such as ADL, The American Jewish Committee, and the Jewish Community Relations Council. Together with the Secure Community Network, we urge everyone to report anything suspicious or concerning so the appropriate action can be taken.” 

Atlanta is just one of more than 30 Jewish Federations that will be using this reporting system. “This is the first nationally standardized incident reporting effort that ties together local Federation security initiatives and SCN as a national partner, ensuring that wherever someone is, there can be timely, consistent, and accurate reporting of threats, incidents, and suspicious activity,” said SCN National Director and CEO Michael Masters.  

Masters says, “Through a coordinated, best practice approach to information sharing, this initiative will help us more effectively and efficiently address threats and issues before they turn to action.”  

Please remember that in an emergency, you should always contact 911 first. If you find yourself in a situation where online reporting is not practical, you should follow established protocol to report suspicious activity, including contacting local law enforcement, and/or the SCN Duty Desk at 844-SCN-DESK. 

community security training - jewish atlanta

Federation Helps Jewish Atlanta Receive Security Grants

By Secure Community Network

community security training - jewish atlantaDid you know that Federation’s Community-Wide Security Program protects the entire Atlanta Jewish community? Jewish Day schools, camps, synagogues, and more benefit from the expertise and assistance of the national partnership with Secure Community Network (SCN). In 2022, Federation helped many local organizations secure grants from the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP), which will help keep Jewish Atlanta safe throughout the year.

The Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) is an initiative through Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It provides support for physical security enhancements and activities, including planning and training, to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of terrorist attack due to their ideology, beliefs, or mission.

NSGP funds are historically allocated based on criteria including threat and/or hazard assessments, identification and substantiation of prior threats or attacks (or closely related organizations), and the symbolic value of a site as a highly recognized national or historical institution which could render the location a possible target of terrorism.

In 2022, Federation’s Community-Wide Security Program assisted 25 Atlanta Jewish organizations with the application process, resulting in a total award to the community of $2.3M for security enhancements to their buildings.

Our assistance included conducting required security assessments of their facilities, conducting webinars, discussing best practices for completing the application, reviewing applications and making recommendations for improvement, and consultations concerning the application process.

Thank you to Neil Rabinovitz, Federation’s Community Security Director, and Bryan Underwood, Deputy Community Security Director, for helping these vital organizations receive this funding!

Security and Preparedness for the High Holidays

By Secure Community Network

Neil Rabinowitz, Federation’s Community Security Director, recently spoke with the Atlanta Jewish Times about how synagogues are preparing for the increased traffic of the High Holidays. Neil’s position not only covers the safety and security of Federation, but for all of Atlanta’s Jewish organizations.  

He and Deputy Security Director Bryan Underwood have conducted security assessments at Atlanta’s synagogues, and they have words of comfort for those who might be worried about safety during upcoming services. “Specific to Atlanta, there’s no elevated threat level other than what we’re seeing nationwide,” Neil says.  

Still, antisemitic attacks are on the rise nationally, and while there are no specific Atlanta threats to be wary of, community members should stay alert. Neil stresses the importance of situational awareness and encourages people to notify the authorities if they notice anything suspicious.  

Federation is offering free online security training to anyone who wishes to attend. Countering Active Threat Training is tonight, September at 7 PM. Click here to register. 

Federation’s Community-Wide Security Program is funded by the Partners Fund. The money granted to them is used to protect Jewish Day schools, camps, synagogues, and more. When you give to Federation’s Community Campaign, you’re ensuring that every member of Jewish ATL can live a life free from fear. 

To read the full interview with the AJT, click here 

Free Security Training for Jewish ATL

By Secure Community Network

At the end of August, Federation’s Community-Wide Security Program is offering two virtual classes designed to educate our community on proper safety protocols in emergencies. These seminars are meant for all members of the Atlanta Jewish community and are intended to enhance our collective security. 

“Be Aware: An Introduction to Situational Awareness” will be offered on August 23 at 7 pm. In this lesson, you’ll be given techniques to develop enhanced perception in your daily life. You’ll learn how to identify security threats, report suspicious activity, and advocate for safety in your community. 

Over 400 people recently attended the online security training module “Countering an Active Threat” conducted by the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta’s Community Security Director, Neil Rabinovitz. This class will be offered again on August 30 at 7 pm and covers topics like how to prepare mentally and physically for an emergency and steps you can take if you find yourself in the middle of an active threat.  

Looking out for each other’s safety is imperative, especially now. Antisemitic attacks are on the rise in the U.S., but we are not powerless to stop them. Be sure to sign up for your free training class and learn how you can uphold the security of Jewish ATL.  

Click here to register for these free online courses. 

Bryan - jewish atlanta

Welcome Our New Deputy Security Director

By Secure Community Network

Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta is pleased to welcome our new Deputy Community Security Director, Bryan Underwood! Bryan comes to us with an extensive background in law enforcement and we are thrilled to have him.

Bryan served for 25 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He performed tours of duty in Kansas City, Washington, St. Louis, Memphis, and Louisville. In 2015, he retired from the FBI as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Louisville Division. Bryan then served for six years as the Assistant Vice President and Director of Law Enforcement for the Eighth District of the Federal Reserve.

At Federation, he will help administer security programs not only for our organization, but for the larger Atlanta Jewish Community. His work will help protect schools, daycare centers, synagogues, camps, assisted living facilities, and other centers of Jewish life.

Bryan holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and Bible from Lipscomb University and a juris doctor degree from the University of Alabama School of Law. We are so pleased to have him on our team!

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