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

Secure jewish buffalo

The dramatic increase in hate incidents and anti-Semitic harassment in North America and around the world has left many in the Jewish community feeling threatened to a level not experienced since pre-War Europe.  Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life massacre in late October 2018 and the hateful attack at the Chabad in Poway, California in Spring 2019 were a wake-up call that we are no longer immune to such heinous acts of violence.

The bottom line for Jewish Buffalo and other communities like ours is that the world has changed and we need to be better prepared, more resilient and ready to confront the potential threats that face us.  For this reason, the Buffalo Jewish Federation acted swiftly to create the Secure Jewish Buffalo Fund.

To date, Federation has received over 300 gifts for a total of $225,000, including a grant from the State of New York that was obtained through the efforts of Senator Tim Kennedy (D. Buffalo).

Taking Action

In spring 2019, Federation hired the first-ever Community Security Coordinator, who moved swiftly to address the security status of each community physical plant.  A standardized plan of action and toolbox were developed to effectively draw from to keep our communities safe. Here are just a few of action steps taken so far:

  • 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 presence security details in the Town of Amherst.
  • Trainings: Facilitation of Usher and Greeter Trainings, as well as Active Shooter Trainings in partnership with the Jewish Community Center.
  • Convenings: Bringing together all branches of Law Enforcement to express our appreciation and to discuss how we work best together.
  • Grants: Distribution of an initial round of grants to 7 community organizations to assist them in their efforts to secure their physical plants, including building hardening, access control and surveillance. These grants were based on written recommendations to include security reviews provided either by Department of Homeland Security or New York State Police, and suggestions (where applicable) offered from the Town of Amherst Police Department.

You Can Help

Perhaps the greatest threat to the Jewish community is amnesia, when we forget about Pittsburgh and Poway and are lured into 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

Community Security Coordinator

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.

In December 2019, Susan was appointed the Chief Deputy of the Civil Department of Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office in Syracuse, New York where she will be responsible for managing the daily operations of the Civil Department.

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...