Mark Ruffalo endorses article that criticizes IHRA definition of antisemitism
Read the full version of this article in the March/April 2023 Chronicle
According to the Anti-Defamation League and the Pew Research Center, anti-Jewish acts remain, by a wide margin, the most common hate crime committed against a religious group in the United States, accounting for more than half of such transgressions reported to law enforcement each year. In fact, more than 10% of all reported hate crimes, regardless of motivation, are committed against Jews and Jewish communities. Jewish people comprise approximately 2% of the population of the United States, and so the extent to which we are targets of violent bias far outpaces our numbers.
Thus, as leaders and stewards of Jewish life, we bear responsibility not only to ensure that our community’s Jewish infrastructure is vibrant and sustainable, but also to secure and protect, by any method within our capability, all who entrust us with their own lives and those of their children.
In late 2022, Jewish Long Beach welcomed our first-ever full-time Director of Community Security, Meredith Burke, who brings to us over two decades of federal law enforcement experience, most recently as head of the FBI’s Long Beach Field Office. Meredith is employed jointly by Jewish Long Beach and the Secure Community Network (SCN), a nationwide security and intelligence service funded and operated collaboratively by the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and The Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations. SCN’s mission is, “via its operations center and Duty Desk, [to] provide timely, credible threat and incident information to both law enforcement and community partners, and to serve as the [Jewish] community’s formal liaison with state and local law enforcement [agencies].”
Additionally, Jewish Long Beach and the AJCC have received a $300,000 LiveSecure Grant from SCN and JFNA, which will fuel training, professional threat and vulnerability assessments, Federal Nonprofit Security Grant application assistance, and a wide variety of additional security assets, not only for our campus, but for our entire Jewish community and its institutions. Jewish Long Beach is the first Jewish federation in California to receive this grant, which places us firmly at the vanguard of Jewish communal security, not only in our state, but on a nationwide scale.
Jewish Long Beach and the Alpert JCC have established security as our top operational priority. We are confident that this commitment and investment will ensure that those who participate in the learning, wellness, mindfulness, worship, reflection, and recreation taking place on our campus can do so with peaceful hearts, assured that they and their loved ones remain safe and joyful in our spaces.
Meredith Burke joined the Secure Community Network (SCN) in 2022 as Community Security Director for Jewish Long Beach. In her role, Burke will coordinate with federal, state, and local law enforcement, and nonprofit, public, private, and other stakeholder organizations on community safety and security matters. In addition, she will provide training, consultation, assistance with grant applications, and serve as a liaison during crisis response and mitigation efforts.
Before joining SCN, Burke served as a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation for 21 years. Prior to her FBI service, Burke worked as an attorney at an international trial and litigation law firm. She earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy and political science from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Minnesota.
Beyond serving as the most senior supervisory special agent in the FBI’s Long Beach office, Burke has been a resident and active community member of Long Beach since 2002.
Contact Meredith: email@example.com | (562) 426-7601 ext. 1517