Shabbat Message from Ezra S. Shanken

Update from Bernard Pinsky

Shabbat Message from CEO Ezra S. Shanken


April 15, 2022 | 14 Nissan 5782



This message has about 819 words and will take less than 3.5 minute to read.

Tonight, we will gather around the seder table with our friends and family, which is something we have been looking forward to for a long time! Passover is my favourite holiday. A time dedicated to passing on our origin story to the next generation and a celebration of new beginnings and the power of hope. I share more about this holiday's importance to me in CJN's Great Canadian Seder!
This Passover, we have asked two of our volunteer leaders to guest write our Shabbat Messages. Today, it is an update from Bernard Pinsky, chair of our Community Security Advisory Committee, who often provides these updates just before Passover and Rosh Hashanah. Next week, it will be Michelle Pollock, chair of our Israel and Global Engagement Committee.
Before that, I would like to ask you to send message of thanks to Santa Ono for standing up to BDS.
Earlier this week, Santa Ono, President and Vice-Chancellor of UBC, released a strong official statement against a recently passed BDS proposal by the Alma Mater Society. You can read it here. BDS proposals have come up several times over the past several years, but this is the first time that UBC administration has stood up and stated clearly and publicly that it will not support the BDS movement. We applaud President Ono’s message condemning BDS and thank him for his support. We believe that it is particularly important for him to see our support as he will likely receive a lot of negative feedback from BDS supporters.
We’ve made it very easy to thank him in just two clicks. Click here!
I would also encourage you to have a listen to this CJN interview with Gilad Cohen of Hillel BC who spoke about the proliferation of BDS throughout Canadian Campuses.
Now, here is Bernard with a community security update:
As we head into Passover period, we take this opportunity to update you on the activities of Jewish Federation’s Community Security Advisory Committee and remind you of the need to keep security in mind. As always, our primary goal is to create and maintain a more security aware and responsive community.
As we reflect on the almost five years that Jewish Federation’s director of security, Daniel Heydenrych-Davis, has headed security for our community, we see many positive changes.
Community organizations are more aware of the need to have policies and procedures in place and to quickly share information when real and potential threats arise. The relationships that Daniel has established with local law enforcement remain strong, and we can count on their support when we need it. Our efforts to build a volunteer network to enhance our security preparedness were stalled due to COVID-19, but as in person events start to ramp up, we will be seeking to train and deploy volunteers again.
The pandemic created its own set of security challenges.
Despite the disruptions and the significant reduction in personally attended activities, our director of security has remained busy and actively engaged with the community. As our synagogues and agencies turned to online platforms to deliver programs and events, there were Zoom bombings to contend with initially. Daniel was there to support and train community members to reduce the risk. He also helped organizations update their policies and procedures, prepare security plans for future development, and train synagogue volunteers and staff following the events in Colleyville, Texas.
One of the important outcomes that our community security committee takes pride in is the very noticeable shift that has taken place among community organizations from being primarily reactive to security breaches to focusing more on being preventive and proactive through planning, training and relationship building.
Another recent but important security initiative of the committee is having significant impact on our overall community safety. 
Approximately 18 months ago, we launched the Cybersecurity Subcommittee under the leadership of Stan Shaw and Eli Mann. The subcommittee has been raising awareness about cybersecurity risks in general and has offered to provide each participating organization with their own comprehensive cyber risk assessment report.
Jewish Federation has also found a donor who is paying for cybersecurity training through simple, short videos for all community organization personnel, resulting in many community members being much more aware of how to protect their organizations from cybercrime. If you are involved with an organization that has not yet taken advantage of the opportunities to have a cyber assessment or to train their personnel in cyber best practices and wants to, please contact Daniel. 
As we head back to in-person gatherings and high-profile events, our community security presence will be more visible again.
However, this visible presence is only part of the picture. We all have a role in keeping our community members and institutions safe. As we have seen, having a collaborative, and coordinated approach to security combined with actual security expertise has a powerful impact.
We want to extend a special thanks to Jewish Federation’s donors, whose generosity is ensuring that we continue to make progress toward a more knowledgeable and more secure community.
Wishing you all a chag sameach,
Bernard Pinsky
Chair, Community Security Advisory Committee

Shabbat shalom and chag Pesach sameach.


Ezra S. Shanken
Chief Executive Officer

Bernard Pinsky, Chair of Community Security Advisory Committee

Santa Ono, President and Vice-Chancellor of UBC

Daniel Heydenrych-Davis, Director of Security