By Reporter staff
Earlier this year, the Jewish Federation of Greater Binghamton announced that it was taking part in the Jewish Federations of North America’s LiveSecure, a $54 million security campaign and initiative to ensure the security and resiliency of Jewish communities. The funds received by the local Federation will be based on new and increased pledges to the Annual Campaign, and will be used solely for security. With LiveSecure grant funding, it will be able to provide the training, tools and resources needed to protect those inside local Jewish community organizations.
Shelley Hubal, executive director of the Federation, noted that she considered it very important to pursue the grant. “Security has long been a top priority for our local institutions, and I feel strongly Federation should do what we can to assist them and work to ensure the safety of our community members,” she said. “No one should feel unsafe when they enter their sacred house of prayer.”
Security issues have affected how one enters buildings that house a Jewish organization. “You can no longer just walk into a synagogue, church or even a JCC,” she noted. “Locked doors and ‘being buzzed in’ are now the norm in our society. While this may seem restrictive, to me, it is a comfort to know that we have these protections in place.”
Hubal said she had not personally experienced antisemitism while growing up in Syracuse in the 1970s and ‘80s, but she doesn’t doubt it was there. She does see a major change in society since then: “Now, social media has given hate a platform, and antisemitism and other forms of poison are spreading like a cancer across the globe.”
The grant will help Hubal find ways to make the community more secure. “My hope is that we will be able to secure funding for security upgrades,” she said. “I also want to ensure we have funds that will last for generations to come. Plus, we are hoping to continue building strong relationships with local and state law enforcement.”
Hubal noted that she was thankful that the Jewish Federations of North America, the Federation umbrella organization, has made security for the Jewish community a priority. “I am grateful for their support, and I am committed to bringing their resources to our community,” she added. “If you want to know more about LiveSecure, [click here]. The LiveSecure matching grant is ongoing for the next three years, so if you feel you can’t give to Campaign 2023, there will be other opportunities to be a part of this initiative.”