One Community:
A Request for Your Support of Jewish Security Needs

Jacob Halpern

Dear Temple Friends:

I am writing to you about an urgent matter. I hope you will respond with action. Temple Beth-El is joining our Jewish Community in a very serious fundraising effort that could have implications for each of us and our families. Led by Birmingham Jewish leader Donald Hess, our community is raising funds right now to enhance security at all of our Jewish institutions.

This effort is being run by the Birmingham Jewish Federation, but it is being shared with all of the Jewish agencies and synagogues, which today face more serious security threats. The funds raised will help all of our Jewish communal agencies and synagogues to address additional security needs, including Temple Beth-El. While security has always been a priority at our synagogue, this effort will allow us to add new security enhancements which will create a safer sacred space for our congregants and staff.

Donald, in a short time, has done an amazing job of pulling together a Security Coordinating Committee, made up of representatives of every Jewish institution, which is overseeing this process, prioritizing needs and approving expenditures. Through your donation to this effort, you will strengthen security in our community for all of us, and strengthen our “One Community” approach to planning.

The intensity of the anti-Semitic incidents in our country has been alarming. Though an arrest was made recently which hopefully will curtail the wave of bomb threats that Jewish institutions were receiving, other challenges remain. Swastikas have been drawn on Jewish facilities and Jewish homes, Jews have been harassed viciously on the Internet, anti-Semitic literature has been passed out in public places and, in Evansville, Indiana — a town like Birmingham where people probably once believed they were immune from such acts — a bullet was fired through a synagogue window.

This is a time for all of us to stand as one community, and to stand tall. As Temple president, I am asking our congregants to step forward now and, if you haven’t already, make a generous donation to the BJF’s Campaign for Jewish Community Security. You can do so by going to or sending a check made out to “BJF-Security” to: Security, Birmingham Jewish Federation, PO 130219, Birmingham, AL 35213.
I know that Donald and BJF Director Richard Friedman are available to answer questions and provide more details. You may contact them at or If you have questions about Temple security you may contact Bob Greenberg  at TBE, or Security Co-Chairs, Allen Halpern and Herb Rosenbaum.

Thanks in advance for your consideration. I am proud that our Synagogue is joining an important effort to make Jewish life safer for all in Birmingham.


Jacob Halpern, TBE President