PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The desecration of any cemetery is horrific, but the most recent attack on a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia comes when some say anti-Semitic threats are on the rise.
“They do appear to be linked throughout the country. I think we’re probably up to close to 80, 80-plus phone calls since the beginning of the year,” says Brad Orsini, director of Jewish community security.
A former FBI agent, Orsini is Pittsburgh’s first director of Jewish community security, hired by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh this year and focused on threats made against Jewish organizations, schools, and synagogues which, so far, have occurred outside Pittsburgh.
“We’ve been dealing with these incidents since the first and second week of January, and they’re continuing to happen weekly.”
The Canonsburg native who has broad experience in crisis management says his position is becoming more common.
“Across the country there are approximately 20, 25 security directors in various Jewish federations,” Orsini told KDKA’s Jon Delano.
“My primary responsibility is to keep the Jewish community safe through training, through awareness, and linking all of our organizations together.”
Orsini will do security assessments of every Jewish entity.
“The month of March we’re going to do approximately 15 different training courses in situational awareness, active shooter, throughout the Jewish community.”
And thanks to a grant from the Jewish Healthcare Foundation trauma kits have been placed in local synagogues and day schools.
“We’re going to do a training with our organizations, with the FBI, in which UPMC trauma doctors are going to come in and teach our community how do use those trauma kits,” said Orsini.
All part of being prepared.