JEPP program accepting applications from eastern US Jewish organizations

JEPP’s program has been designed in order to better enable Jewish community leaders and members to act effectively during times of crisis, in a time of record antisemitism in America.

 A law enforcement vehicle blocks the street where a man has reportedly taken people hostage at a synagogue during services that were being streamed live, in Colleyville, Texas, US (photo credit: REUTERS/Shelby Tauber)
A law enforcement vehicle blocks the street where a man has reportedly taken people hostage at a synagogue during services that were being streamed live, in Colleyville, Texas, US
(photo credit: REUTERS/Shelby Tauber)

In the wake of a series of hate crimes, shootings and other crises that have affected the US Jewish community, the non-profit organization JEPP (The Jewish Emergency Preparedness Project) is accepting applications from East Coast Jewish organizationsincluding schools, synagogues, camps and community centers — to join a year-long subsidized program that assesses, trains and prepares them to be ready for action in the event of an emergency or crisis ranging from active shooters to natural disasters.

Interested organizations can apply at https://www.jepp365.org/ until the submission deadline on Thursday, January 26 at 4 p.m. EST. 

“The safety and security of Jewish organizations is of extreme importance to our communities,” said Yoni Ari, CEO of JEPP. “We recognize the importance of providing a holistic approach which includes not just protocols and physical equipment, but also hands-on training and investment in human behavior that will ensure the ability of leaders to respond when needed. We look forward to expanding the communities we work with this year and invite organizations to apply now.”

“The safety and security of Jewish organizations is of extreme importance to our communities, we recognize the importance of providing a holistic approach which includes not just protocols and physical equipment, but also hands-on training and investment in human behavior that will ensure the ability of leaders to respond when needed. We look forward to expanding the communities we work with this year and invite organizations to apply now”

Yoni Ari, CEO of JEPP

Based on a model from Israel’s Homefront Command and facilitated by experts, JEPP’s leadership has created an in-depth program for community leaders and professionals which includes theory, analysis of real-life scenarios and practical in-person training.

The human reaction to a crisis is often more important to saving lives than physical security hardening, which is also crucial. This is why the training we provide is so critical to our mission of protecting and securing our communities,” said Sherrie R. Savett, president of JEPP. “As the Talmud tells us, ‘all of Israel are responsible for one another.’ The preparedness program we have created is a living example of how the people in our communities can be there to support one another during the most difficult of times.”

People wear kippas as they attend a demonstration in front of a Jewish synagogue, to denounce an anti-Semitic attack on a young man wearing a kippa in the capital earlier this month, in Berlin, Germany, April 25, 2018. (credit: FABRIZIO BENSCH / REUTERS)People wear kippas as they attend a demonstration in front of a Jewish synagogue, to denounce an anti-Semitic attack on a young man wearing a kippa in the capital earlier this month, in Berlin, Germany, April 25, 2018. (credit: FABRIZIO BENSCH / REUTERS)

Funding the program

The program is subsidized by JEPP and organizations can allocate state security grant funding or the federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) towards the cost of training as well. This year’s program is open to 30 organizations on America’s East Coast that are eligible to receive additional funding from the $150,000 available directly from JEPP for this year’s cohort. 

“The requirements of JEPP helped me make the space necessary for security to be a higher level point of conversation in our community,” said Robin Minkoff, executive director of Beth Sholom Congregation in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. “It was a terrific program for us. The resources provided both in written texts … and through in-person drills and training were exceptionally helpful for our staff. The conversations around security facilitated by JEPP should be had by every organization.”

"The requirements of JEPP helped me make the space necessary for security to be a higher level point of conversation in our community, It was a terrific program for us. The resources provided both in written texts … and through in-person drills and training were exceptionally helpful for our staff. The conversations around security facilitated by JEPP should be had by every organization."

Rabbi Minkoff, executive director of Beth Sholom Congregation