We are all seriously concerned for the safety and wellbeing of the Jewish community around the United States. While the daily antisemitic violence our brothers and sisters face in the New York area has not reached Los Angeles, we have seen a sharp increase in antisemitic vandalism and incidents of harassment.
While the LAPD and law enforcement have said they will increase patrols in Jewish areas, they do not have the people power or funds to provide the kind of security measures that are needed. They will respond should, God forbid, something happen. However, we cannot depend on the police to be a constant deterrence in our neighborhoods and in front of our houses of worship.
In NY, NJ CT, governors have increased patrols of synagogues using the state police and private security companies. California doesn’t have a state police. So I called and asked the Cal Guard if they would protect our synagogues. Only a declaration of a state of emergency would permit the California Military Guard be called out to protect synagogues.
Which means that for the moment, protection of Jews and our institutions is up to us.
What are we doing about it? We have to work on deterrence, and not be afraid.
One of the best way to help protect the Jewish community is to create a strong physical and spiritual deterrence.
Community security: It’s critical for every community to protect themselves against those who seek to do us harm. It’s a mitzvah. Pico Shul has several members as part of the community watch called LA Shmira, who patrol the neighborhoods at regular intervals to ensure the safety of the community. We always need support for better equipment and volunteers. You can donate here to help and click here to apply.
Synagogue Security: We need more members of our community to train for our security group. If you want to help fund or get trained please email security @ picoshul.org.
Spiritual Security: God is the ultimate provider of security. In a future email we will discuss the reasons that we believe that horrible things are allowed to happen. In the meanwhile, your prayers are needed to help keep us safe. Please say Psalm 20, 83, 121, 130, 142 every day and have in mind the safety and security of the Jewish community here and around the world.