South River Jewish organization provides resources to law enforcement

Jewish FederationRutgers 2017DEIRDRERYAN
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Jewish FederationRutgers 2017DEIRDRERYAN

The Jewish Federation is sponsoring educational programs in its attempt to further educate law enforcement officials about their critical role in stopping and preventing bias related incidents.

The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey is a non-profit organization based out of South River that works to strengthen the Jewish community in order to meet its most pressing needs: caring for the vulnerable, inspiring future generations of engaged community members, and enabling all Jews of every background and lifestyle to participate in communal life, according to the federation’s Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Karasic.

Providing programs and services throughout Middlesex and Monmouth counties, the federation is located at 230 Old Bridge Turnpike.

“[The] Jewish Federations originated from the concept of ‘a community chest’ over 100 years ago, a way to anonymously connect those who needed help with those who could offer help, to preserve the dignity of all involved. The concept of ‘tzedakah’ or justice is central to Jewish values of caring for the less fortunate and repairing the world,” Karasic said.

On Aug. 11 and 12, the city of Charlottesville, Virginia, was thrust into the national spotlight due to the tragic events that transpired between white nationalists and counter protesters. In response, the federation, along with Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni, sponsored an educational two-day event the following week where 30 law enforcement officials participated in Chhange‘s (the Center for Holocaust, Human Rights, and Genocide Education) Law Enforcement Officers (LEO) educational program at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft.

The officers interacted with Holocaust survivors and toured the U.S. Holocaust Historical Museum in Washington, D.C.

The timing of the program, which was followed by vandalism at a Boston Holocaust memorial and terrorism in Barcelona, prompted the Jewish Federation to reiterate its position that “hate and bigotry of any kind should have no home in our community,” according to the federation’s First Vice President Amy Mallet in a prepared statement.

“[This] federation is not merely making a statement with words. Actions speak louder than words, which is why this federation had already planned, long before the events in Charlottesville, the LEO program with Chhange and the Prosecutor’s Office,” Mallet said in a prepared statement.

The federation also held a Preparedness Conference on Aug. 29 at Rutgers Hillel in New Brunswick, where hundreds of interfaith community leaders, law enforcement and public safety officials gathered for a day of education aimed at enhancing preparedness for security threats and bias incidents affecting all faith communities in greater Middlesex and Monmouth counties, as well as others across the state, according to the statement.

Officials who participated at the conference included representatives of the Middlesex and Monmouth County prosecutors’ offices, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, New Jersey Office of the Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino, the FBI, several municipal police departments, and the non-profit security consultant, Secure Community Network, according to a prepared statement.

“An interfaith mission to Israel is being planned as we speak. Additional security education is offered throughout the year,” Lisa Karasic said.

For more information about the Jewish Federation, visit www.jewishheartnj.org. To volunteer, call 732-588-1800 or email info@jewishheartnj.org.

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapermediagroup.com.