As antisemitism rises, Bay Area Jewish organizations taking extra security measures

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Friday, June 16, 2023
Bay Area Jewish groups taking extra precaution as antisemitism rises
As reported antisemitic incidents rise, some Bay Area Jewish organizations are implementing extra security measures to keep the community safe.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Across California in recent years, Jewish communities have been facing increasing levels of antisemitism. As reported incidents rise, some Jewish organizations are taking matters into their own hands.

"In 2022, we gave 35 active shooter trainings. We trained 1,500 community members and staff at Jewish organizations throughout the Bay Area. So demand for these services is high," said Rafael Brinner.

Brinner is the director of community security for the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund in San Francisco.

Over the past several months, his organization has helped local Jewish groups learn about extra measures they can take to keep people safe.

MORE: San Francisco synagogue shooting suspect charged with multiple felonies, hate crime allegations

San Francisco DA Brooke Jenkins announced charges have been filed against the man arrested and accused of firing blanks inside a synagogue.

"The federation has a unique vantage point of the whole community. Not just in the Bay Area, but throughout Northern California because we are in relationship with dozens and dozens of Jewish organizations," said Rebecca Randall of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment fund.

There have been several recent high-profile antisemitic incidents in the Bay Area.

In 2022, numerous communities saw anti-Jewish flyers distributed, and earlier this year, a man fired blank rounds inside a Jewish community center in San Francisco.

"We counted 166 incidents here, which is a 137% increase from the previous year," said Teresa Drenick.

MORE: What is antisemitism? Explaining anti-Jewish ideas and hate

Drenick works with the Anti-Defamation League. She says documented cases of antisemitism have been rising for some time.

"The march in Charlottesville where individuals held tiki torches and chanted 'Jews will not replace us,' was almost a watershed moment. And since then, we have seen right wing extremists, we have seen antisemites really coming out," Drenick said.

The ADL says 2023 could see even more incidents than previous years.

One reason why the Jewish Community Foundation says they're planning on expanding their operations to more people across Northern California.

"I think it instills a greater sense of confidence that we can respond when the worst happens. And that as ordinary citizens, we can minimize harm and ultimately help save lives," Randall said.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live