Supporting communities following Pittsburgh
19 December 2018
When tragedy strikes against Jewish communities beyond the UK, we also share in that pain and anguish. This reaction was seen, again, in our communal reactions to the appalling neo-Nazi gun attack against the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh USA.
CST was privileged to play its part in various UK communal commemorations held for the Pittsburgh victims, but one longer lasting impact of the terrorist outrage has been the backing for CST and its work, with people realising why we do this work and how important it is to help support it.
CST has received an increase in Jewish organisations informing us of upcoming events and seeking security advice for them. This follows the outpouring of support and gratitude from within the Jewish Community, expressed in person, and via emails and social media, thanking us for our work in keeping the UK community safe. CST also received many calls and messages of support from Government and Police officials, as well as from contacts from other faith groups and Jewish and non-Jewish organisations. There have also been a number of online donations to CST and enquiries about volunteer training from those wanting to show their support of our work in a more tangible way.
We are heartened by this response, whilst wishing that none of it was necessary. For CST, security is and has always been the main focus of our work. We have always looked for ways to improve both the physical safety of Jewish buildings across the UK through our Security Enhancement Projects, and to build upon the knowledge, skills and security awareness of our community through a variety of training courses and publicity drives.
‘I want my kids to feel more secure. They are not silly, they know what’s going on in the news’
Since the Pittsburgh attack, CST has spoken to groups of parents in schools in a mix of formal security awareness sessions and pop up stalls at school parent events. We have been able to discuss peoples’ fears and provide practical advice that we hope empowers our community to continue leading its way of life to the full. In particular, we emphasise that security is something that we all need to be aware of and play a part in, which includes knowing your usual surroundings and responding to suspicious behaviour by immediately reporting it to security guards, Police or CST.
[Image credit: Governor Tom Wolf]