Help us lead the efforts to ensure a more secure Jewish Buffalo.

Secure jewish buffalo

Since the Spring of 2019, the Buffalo Jewish Federation has proactively responded to the measurable increase in antisemitic behavior and threats against the Jewish community. Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life massacre, the hateful attack at the Chabad in Poway, California and other high-profile assaults thereafter, remind us daily that we are not immune to such heinous acts of violence. Federation is committed to mitigating the threat, violence and abhorrent rhetoric faced by the Jewish community and has dedicated financial support for these efforts through raising monies for the Secure Jewish Buffalo Fund. To date, Federation has received over 300 gifts that included a grant from the State of New York (obtained through the efforts of Senator Tim Kennedy, (D. Buffalo) but there is more work that needs to be done.

We have developed a professional security system, offer the means for target-hardening of facilities and provide training developed exclusively for our community. Our Director of Community Security works collaboratively behind-the-scenes with our partners at Federal, State, County and local levels of law enforcement to help us be better prepared, more resilient and ready to confront the potential threats that face us to include:

  • Communications: Implementation of a rapid communication system through SCN (Secure Community Network of the Jewish Federations of North America) to provide alerts and critical information to all sectors of Jewish Buffalo.
  • Off Duty Detail(s): Coordination of scheduling of all off-duty police security details for synagogues and other agencies in the Town of Amherst and when requested, the City of Buffalo.
  • Trainings: Facilitation of Usher and Greeter Trainings, as well as Active Shooter Trainings in partnership with the law enforcement.
  • Convenings: Bringing together all branches of Law Enforcement to collaborate and work together to maximize resources and express our appreciation.
  • Grants: Secure Jewish Buffalo offers grants based on written recommendations to include security assessments provided either by Department of Homeland Security or New York State Police, and suggestions (where applicable) offered from the Town of Amherst Police Department. We have provided multiple grants to community organizations to assist them in their efforts to secure their physical plants, including building hardening, access control and surveillance.

You Can Help

Perhaps the greatest threat to the Jewish community is complacency over time and develop a false sense of security. That is why the need to raise funds continues to be a high priority for Federation – to provide the resources needed to strengthen our community’s physical plants, train our leaders and provide a sense of empowerment and increased vigilance that will ensure a more secure Jewish Buffalo.

Susan DeMari

Susan DeMari

Director of Community Security

Susan, a native of Buffalo, currently resides in Central New York (CNY) where she also serves as their Community Security Coordinator. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Brockport State University and a Juris Doctor from Syracuse University College of Law.

Susan began her work as security liaison with the Jewish community of CNY in 2000. Since then, she has emphasized a coordinated and unified approach to critical safety and security needs, highlighting common standards to embrace a culture of security awareness, preparedness and disaster response. Susan works closely with the Secure Community Network and Anti-Defamation League and helps assure community-based proactive and reactive protocols. She is the one point-person that works exclusively with law enforcement on behalf of the Jewish community.

From December 2019 through December 2022, Susan was appointed as the Chief Deputy of the Civil Department of Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office in Syracuse, New York where she was responsible for managing the daily operations of the Civil Department under (now retired) Sheriff Eugene Conway.


Secure Jewish Buffalo Fund Update – April 27, 2019

April 17, 2019 Senator Timothy Kennedy secured $100,000 from the New York State Budget for the Secure Jewish Buffalo Fund.  On Wednesday, April 17, he held a press Conference at Congregation Beth Abraham to announce the news. Senator Kennedy's Official Press Release...