Following the hostage crisis at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, on January 15th, an anonymous philanthropist has pledged one million dollars and enlisted friends to match his gift in order to install the Gabriel Network security platform in 500 locations across the United States – protecting approximately 5,000 buildings (such as synagogues, campus facilities, and schools) with the company’s advanced system.
In a phone call with co-founder and CEO of Gabriel Network Yoni Sherizen, the anonymous philanthropist expressed their interest in preventing future incidents of similar magnitude.
“We are grateful that nobody from the congregation was injured or killed, but there is a concern that next time we may not be so fortunate,” they said.
Gabriel Network’s security suite provides integrated video, audio, gunshot detection, hot-zone mapping, geo-fencing, robust communication and instant situational awareness for responders. Additionally, the platform can be used with pre-existing security camera systems, in order to minimize setup cost.
“By reducing costs, we can make the technology more accessible and save more lives,” said co-founder Asaf Adler.
During discussions between Gabriel Network’s team and the anonymous donor, the latter requested maximum community coverage for the lowest possible price. The resulting deal was an at-cost starter kit to every willing institution, along with installation, training, and one year of service, following which a discount will be made available to communities interested in continuing use of the service. Jewish communities across the United States have already installed Gabriel Network’s service.
Gabriel Network was founded following two mass shootings in 2016 in a Tel Aviv market and at Florida’s Pulse Nightclub.
“We saw the ability to democratize technology that was previously only available to special units, and put these life-saving tools in the hands of people who need them most,” said Sherizen. “Improving preparedness and delivering a safer, smarter and faster response is what motivates us every day.”
The hostage crisis in mid-January has led to heightened attention around security within Jewish communities in the US and elsewhere. The event raised fears of antisemitic attacks to the forefront of discussion on social media sites like Twitter and Instagram. FBI Director Christopher A. Wray made a statement declaring that the bureau considers the attack an act of antisemitic terrorism.