As your Community Security Manager, I wanted to provide an update on what I’ve been doing since I started my position in June 2023. I am glad to be part of this community and looking forward to the opportunities ahead. If you are interested in learning more about security efforts in the greater Ann Arbor area, please contact me at shane@jewishannarbor.org.

My first goal when I started was to visit the Jewish facilities and agencies in the area and meet with their professional and volunteer leadership to introduce myself. I have been able to do this with a majority of organizations, and we have established a working relationship that will serve us well in the future.

In fact, a priority with the creation of my position, the first ever Community Security Manager for greater Ann Arbor’s Jewish community, was to develop a better line of communication amongst all our agencies when it came to security matters. I have been able to establish procedures to centralize the flow of security related information and disseminate it quickly among our agencies.

Unfortunately, I have been busier than I hoped I would be with antisemitic incidents in the area. We have had four incidents since I started. Those incidents include antisemitic graffiti at a Jewish U of M fraternity, the “swatting” of a synagogue service, homophobic graffiti at a Jewish facility, and a “Zoom Bombing” of a synagogue’s service. In all these situations, I was able to reach out to local law enforcement for assistance, as well as utilize the resources of Metro Detroit-based Jewish Community Security, Inc (JCSI), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the national Secure Community Network (SCN), the last of which is the official safety and security organization of the Jewish community in North America.

In addition to immediate responses whenever they’re needed, I meet monthly with local law enforcement to share any security concerns and request police presence at community events as needed. I have also assisted some of our local organizations with security trainings, including for the teachers at Hebrew Day School, and volunteer high holiday greeters at Temple Beth Emeth.

Along with the members of the Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor’s professional team, including Community Relations Manager McKenzie Katz and Communications & Development Manager Rachel Wall, I have created a draft of a community-wide Crisis Communications and Management Plan that would be used during a major incident. While not yet finalized, the plan had a test run when the current conflict erupted in Israel. In addition, the Federation partnered with SCN to create an online Incident Report Form for members of the community to report security concerns and antisemitic incidents, including school-related issues such as bullying. The Incident Report Form can be accessed on the Federation’s website at JewishAnnArbor.org/IncidentReporting.

Looking further ahead, the federal security grant process is starting soon. I will be assisting our local agencies with completing applications for infrastructure improvements to make our community as safe as it can be.

To learn more about security efforts in greater Ann Arbor, or to get involved, please contact me at shane@jewishannarbor.org.