Throughout the High Holy Days, CST will be here as we always are, protecting our community.
Our operation over Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah is the biggest of the year, guarding what in many communities will be their highest shul attendances. Hundreds of CST volunteers and location security personnel will be in our protective vests, securing synagogues, vigilant to any potential danger. This is, of course, a vital part of what we do, but what you see is just the end of months of work and planning.
An operation like this takes months to prepare, including identifying the biggest threats to our community and doing our utmost to counter those dangers. It combines the expertise and efforts of many CST staff and local volunteers, working together.
CST security is intelligence-led. It combines cutting edge online research with reports to CST by members of Jewish communities, telling us of antisemitic incidents and suspicious activity taken together, this helps us and the police to investigate offenders and recognise patterns of hostile behaviour, meaning better security by CST and better policing by local officers.
We also spend hundreds of hours of training and educating our volunteers. Each and every CST volunteer receives extensive training in the physical and theoretical aspects of modern-day security. This level of detail is essential in running as smooth and professional an operation as possible.
We do all of this because at the heart of our mission is the desire to see Jewish life in the UK continue to thrive. Every Jewish person has the right to be Jewish without fearing for their safety, and we will do everything in our power to guarantee this safety: this is our unwavering commitment to our community, to our kehillah. It is a duty we approach with a huge sense of responsibility, humility and pride.
To help us fulfil this purpose, there are basic things that you can do to keep you, your family, friends and community safe throughout the Yamim Noraim. On your way to and from shul, walk in well-lit areas and, if possible, travel in a group. Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings: even if you are deep in conversation or silent contemplation. Feel, see and hear what is happening around you. Most importantly, if there is anything suspicious – anything that feels out of place – report it to the police, CST volunteers and synagogue guards who will be a consistent presence in the community at this time. In an absolute emergency, we always ask that the police be phoned on 999 and CST also has a 24-hour emergency number, 0800 032 3263. The security of the collective begins with the individual.
Everyone at CST wishes you a safe, happy New Year, and meaningful Fast.
If you are interested in being a part of our mission, becoming a CST volunteer or any other training offered by CST, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, 020 8457 9999 (London and the south) or 0161 792 6666 (Manchester and the north).