‘The Jewish Community Is Routinely Targeted’: Pittsburgh Jewish Communities Discuss Security Measures Amid Constant Threats

‘The Jewish Community Is Routinely Targeted’: Pittsburgh Jewish Communities Discuss Security Measures Amid Constant Threats

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — On the heels of a shooting in New Jersey that targeted a kosher grocery store, local Pittsburgh Jewish Federations have security measures in place as they deal with the many threats they receive.


It’s rare for Brad Orsini, the communal security director for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, to go even a week without investigating a threat made against Pittsburgh’s Jewish communities.


“The Jewish community is routinely targeted,” Orsini said.


Many of the threats are from social media or email, and every single one is taken seriously.


“We make sure we don’t dismiss any of them,” Orsini said. “We report every single one to law enforcement. We try to follow it through because we cannot, or nor we ever ignore any signs of hate in this community.”


(Photo Credit: KDKA)


Owners of Pinskers Books & Judaica are sadly familiar with being targeted for their faith.


A few months ago, the business received an unsettling phone call.


“They didn’t personally threaten us,” said owner Baila Cohen said. “They said something about hoping we would die or something along those lines.”


WATCH: KDKA’s Shelby Cassesse reports live from Squirrel Hill.

The local Jewish community, including Pinskers Books & Judaica, increased security measures following the Tree of Life Synagogue shootings. Those methods are routinely reevaluated.


“It’s always been a concern, and we’re conscious of security as people are around here and we keep an eye on it,” said owner Daniel Cohen.


Recently 45 buildings in the area received panic buttons and there have been over 100 training sessions this year on what to do during an attack.


“We want our community to effectively become first responders so they can react in case something bad happens,” Orsini said.