Jewish groups in Europe are set to receive part of a multimillion euro grant in an initiative to protect houses of worship across the continent.
The Safer and Stronger Communities in Europe (SASCE) project, a partnership between Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Buddhist communities, was awarded the funds by the European Commission this week.
Worth €3 million (£2.61 million), the grant will see the four faith groups work together to enhance security in and around their places of worship.
The SASCE project is based on a model developed by the European Jewish Congress (EJC), a Brussels-based representative group for Jews in Europe.
The Conference of European Churches, Faith Matters and the European Buddhist Union are the other organisations involved.
“Solidarity and cooperation among communities of faith is vital at this point,” said Moshe Kanor, president of the EJC, “because an attack on one community is an attack on all communities.
“As we have seen in the attack on the synagogue of Halle on 9 October 2019, once the perpetrator realised he would not succeed killing Jews, he sought to kill Muslims at a nearby restaurant.”
As part of a pilot, 1,000 Jewish communal buildings across Europe will be equipped with new technology to increase their level of protection.
The four organisations will work together deliver security awareness, crisis management and training sessions for their communities, as well as wider communication campaigns.
While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.
That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.
We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.
Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”