CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey Congressman Donald Norcross is among those pushing for better security at religious sites like churches and synagogues.Â When Joan Kaplon takes her granddaughter to preschool at the Katz Jewish Community Center in Cherry Hill, she can’t help but worry for her safety.
“I see whatâs happening all over the world in terms of anti-Semitism and itâs very frightening,” Kaplon said.READ MORE: Delaware To Require COVID-19 Vaccine Or Weekly Testing For K-12 Educators, Contractors And Volunteers
From the Tree of Life Synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh, to an attack on a Jewish market in Jersey City last month, the rate and severity of violence against Jews is increasing in America.
“Theyâre obligated to maintain safety and security for them so itâs kind of owning the responsibility now,” said Doron Horowitz, security adviser to Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey.
Horowitz was one of the key speakers Thursday at a security briefing at the Katz JCC. Faith leaders, elected officials and local police discussed best security practices and emergency management.READ MORE: Philadelphia School District Superintendent Dr. William Hite Will Not Seek Contract Renewal After School Year
They also took questions from concerned citizens like Kaplon.
“Given the current climate on the increase of anti-Semitism, there is a tremendous demand of Jewish communities and other communities to know what is being done,” Horowitz said.
In addition to professional advice and talking about police coordination, Norcross explained his desire to increase security grants to nonprofits and reform how FEMA distributes money in suburban communities like South Jersey.
“We have a bill that will quadruple the amount of dollars going into this fund but it needs to be distributed fairly,” Norcross said.MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Weather: Chance For Strong To Severe Storms On Tuesday, Damaging Winds
Many people who attended the security briefing signed a pledge, which says they’ll do their part to combat anti-Semitism by standing up against any bigotry they hear from friends, family or co-workers.