Security of Sydney’s Jewish community

April 18, 2011 by Ian Sandler
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Ian Sandler, Chief Executive Officer of Sydney’s Jewish Communal Appeal, reflects on the security of our community and how hundreds of people make a difference.

What would your reaction be to know that back in 2008, almost 3000 Jews in Australia had personally experienced or witnessed anti-semitism in Australia?  Shock?  Disbelief? Was one of them you?

Does the threat to us and our children increase as the line between anti-Semitism and anti-Israel becomes more and more blurred?  In a recent publication by the Communal Security Group, the Chairman of the NSW Council for Jewish Community Security, Peter Wise discussed the role that the organisation plays in our community.  A community that is required to be constantly vigilant.

Peter Wise

How sad it is that as a Jewish Community, we have to think and plan so carefully about the security of our communal institutions. The very nature of communal security is so terribly negative in concept. Security is a distraction; and it is such a major drain on our communal resources; both financially and in terms of human resources. How much better it would be for our energies to be taken up by things productive; for things that work towards the betterment of society at large.

However, whilst the threat of terrorism continues to be part of daily life throughout the world; and whilst the number of anti-Semitic incidents and hate crimes continues to rise both internationally and here in Australia, we have no choice other than to be continuously vigilant.

Our community is fortunate to have a Communal Security Group (CSG) which is manned by such a dedicated group of skilled professionals and trained volunteers. The CSG is tasked with the day to day safety of our communal infrastructure and the protection of our events, but to do its job efficiently and well, the CSG needs the assistance – the eyes and ears – of each and every member of our community.

The CSG currently retains hundreds of valued volunteers. They are your sons, daughters, mothers, fathers and friends. Their ages range from 18 to 60 . Each volunteer commits many hundreds of hours of service every year. They devote this time to train, prepare and plan, transforming themselves into a trained security force capable of protecting us against the unfortunate and real security threats we face today. Their ethos is to Protect Jewish Life and Jewish Way of Life and their commitment to you is to protect you and your family. As a community it needs to be our commitment to them to ensure that they have the resources to do so.

Through the JCA, money is allocated to CSG’s operational costs. In addition to eyes and ears, CSG needs volunteers, people who are trained to deal with difficult situations effectively.  Suspicious objects, suspicious people outside a school or synagogue, a confrontational situation in the street?  Do you know how to react?  Can you effectively protect yourself and others around you?

The CSG will be commencing a recruitment training program in early May. We urge you to consider attending an information evening if you are interested to hear more, and potentially interested to make a commitment to the safety and security of our community – your family and friends. Please send an email with your full name, age and mobile phone number to If you require any security advice or assistance, please contact the CSG on 1300 793 274 (1300 SYD CSG).

Make that call.  Make that commitment.  Only by working together do we keep our community strong and safe.

On behalf of the JCA and our community, I thank and commend every CSG volunteer.

Wishing you all Chag Sameach and a safe and kosher Pesach.



3 Responses to “Security of Sydney’s Jewish community”
  1. Netta says:

    Hello, my name is Netta and I live in Israel. I was enlisted for 26 months in the army and I now work as a medic and a security guard for field trips and such. If you looking for someone I’ll be happy to hear from you. Thank you.

  2. Dudy Ben Shlush says:

    Hello I am David

    I live in Israel
    I served as a soldier in a combat unit for three years and I am looking for security work in the Jewish community.
    if you are looking for some one please contact me.

  3. Lynne Newington says:

    Surely now that Pope Benedict has given Judas Iscariot a make over and we are now not to “evangelize the Jews”, it would lighten the load.
    Although it’s a pity books by Chrysostom and Augustine who come to mind, can’t be revamped, setting a precedence, now that we got it wrong all those centuries ago.

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