Jewish Agency Upgrading Security in 24 Countries

YERUSHALAYIM -

In response to a wave of requests, the Jewish Agency has agreed to upgrade security provisions for 50 Jewish institutions in 24 countries, The Jerusalem Post reported on Tuesday.

The projected cost of the upgrades is $1.1 million, and not all of the money is available yet, but the agency said it has begun the work with what it has.

The Jewish Agency reportedly anticipates it will need an additional $3m. to meet further such requests from communities in some 40 countries by the end of 2020.

The agency’s Fund for Security Assistance for Jewish Communities was established in 2012 following an attack against a Jewish school in the French city of Toulouse in which an Islamist gunmen murdered a rabbi and three children, Hy”d.

Since then, the fund has assisted 600 Jewish institutions in 260 different communities in 60 countries, at a cost of about $13 million.

The money came from donors in the Diaspora, including $7.5m. from Jewish philanthropists and business associates Mikhail Fridman, German Khan and Petr Aven.

The funds have been used to install security cameras, bulletproof glass, shatter-proof glass, security fences and walls, anti-ramming barriers, guard posts and alarm systems.

The fund was credited with thwarting the attack on a synagogue in Halle, Germany, on Yom Kippur. The entrance door, which had been reinforced with funds from the Jewish Agency’s security fund in 2015, withstood an attempt by the terrorist to break in by shooting and setting off an explosive device. There were fatalities outside, but b’chasdei Shamayim, no one inside the synagogue was harmed.