Podcast: Mitch Silber on Securing America’s Jewish Communities

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Last week, a British jihadist entered a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, and held four of its members hostage. In mid-October of last year, a woman emptied a container of gasoline and set it on fire in front of the Yeshiva of Flatbush in Brooklyn while shouting anti-Semitic obscenities. That followed an attack on Shlomo Noginsky, a rabbi in Boston who this past July was stabbed eight times outside of a Jewish day school. Roughly five weeks before that, someone emptied a bag of feces in front of the Chabad of South Broward in Florida while shouting “Jews should die.” Whether individuals or institutions are being targeted, whether they’re in New York or Texas, anti-Semitism is on the rise in America, and Jews are called to be more vigilant than in years past.

This week’s podcast guest knows a thing or two about vigilance. Mitch Silber is the former director of intelligence analysis at the New York Police Department, where he oversaw research, collection, and analysis for the department’s Intelligence Division. Now, he’s the executive director of the Community Security Initiative, a small team dedicated to securing the Jewish institutions of New York from anti-Semitic violence. In conversation with Mosaic Editor Jonathan Silver, he explains why this initiative came about and what it takes to protect Jews, in New York and around the country, from the anti-Semitic threats that have become all too common in America.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

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