The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles launched a program Wednesday to train and educate security guards at local Jewish facilities to stem a recent rise in antisemitic incidents.
The PRT Guard Force training program will “use the latest in computer-based training to educate security guards in topics such as Jewish cultural training and identifying the diverse population that makes up the local Jewish community, historical attacks, attack vectors, the terrorist planning cycle, as well as verbal de-escalation techniques,” according to the federation.
The Jewish Federation began its Community Security Initiative in 2012, and since then has compiled a database linking hundreds of Jewish sites, visited over 300 synagogues, schools and other institutions, and trained more than 4,000 people in safety and security awareness.
“We simply will not stand idly by as our community is targeted,” said Ivan Wolkind, the federation’s chief operating officer. “With CSI and our new PRT Guard Force training program, we have the means and the vision to protect our beloved community from this recent horrible rise of antisemitism and from all those who wish to do us harm.”
According to the Anti-Defamation League, antisemitic incidents are up 115% nationally in the last month alone. Locally, data from the Los Angeles Police Department show that in the first half of 2021, hate incidents are up 56.3%.
Last month, security footage showed a perpetrator attempting to throw a block of concrete through the windows of a synagogue in Century City.
That incident came on the heels of the assault and beating of several Jewish diners targeted the night of May 24, hours after a large protest in support of Palestinian rights amid the violence between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
About 24 hours before the restaurant attack, an Orthodox Jewish man was seen on surveillance video being chased by a pro-Palestinian caravan attempting to run him over near Rosewood and La Brea avenues.