The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced its first faith-based security partnership on Friday, as it joined ranks with two major Jewish organizations.
The move is part of the agency’s “If You See Something, Say Something” awareness campaign and will work with the Jewish Federations of North America and the Secure Community Network to promote and distribute media materials in Jewish centers, organizations and communities throughout the country.
“Homeland security begins with hometown security, and our nation’s faith-based organizations play a critical role in keeping our communities safe,” said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in a statement.
“Expanding the ‘If You See Something, Say Something’ campaign to national Jewish groups, the first faith-based partnership for the campaign, is an important step in the Department’s ongoing effort to engage the American public in our nation’s security efforts.”
The board of The Jewish Federations of North America pointed to recent attempted attacks on Jewish targets, such as the two men who were accused of allegedly plotting to attack a Manhattan synagogue last month as they allegedly tried to purchase a grenade and handguns.
“The American Jewish community and the places we gather are, unfortunately, often targets for terrorists,” said Michael Gelman, the chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of the Jewish Federations of North America.
“This new partnership with the Department of Homeland Security will empower us to counter this threat as we become more actively involved in our own protection,” he said.
Last July, DHS launched its nationwide public awareness campaign after local law enforcement officials successfully ran a similar program’s in New York City. The DHS program has partnered with major sporting associations including the NBA, NFL, and NCAA, in an attempt to use employee and the public reports as a way to spot suspicious activity and thwart possible terrorist attacks.