by: Foundation for Jewish Camp Articles & Press Releases April 18, 2024

Secure Community Network & Foundation for Jewish Camp Launch Comprehensive Camp Security Initiative


CHICAGO, IL – The Secure Community Network (SCN) and Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) today announced a new initiative to enhance the safety, security, and resiliency of Jewish camps across North America. This groundbreaking initiative will jointly leverage SCN and FJC’s expertise and networks to deliver a national camp security program that ensures best-practice guidance, trainings, and other resources to ensure a safe and secure environment for campers and staff.
To launch the initiative in preparation for this summer’s camp season, SCN will host regional security workshops for all participating camps starting in early May, working collaboratively with Jewish Federations and other partners in the camp environment. These virtual workshops, led by SCN’s Regional Directors and the national network of Jewish security professionals, will provide camp leadership with essential tools and knowledge needed to continue enhancing their security preparedness.
Building on existing relationships and partnerships with various camp movements, throughout the 2024 camp season and in years to come, SCN, FJC, and the camp movements will ensure updated points of contact, provide guidance materials, conduct staff training, perform walkthroughs and threat, vulnerability, and risk assessments (TVRAs), and offer support to help camps navigate the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) to secure funding that helps harden their facilities against attack.
To lead this critical Camp Security Initiative, SCN is welcoming Jim Tarasca as its Director. Tarasca brings extensive experience in security management, having most recently served as the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office after serving in various roles over a 25-year career in the FBI, including his role as assistant special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Division of the New York Field Office and the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
This position is funded in full by a challenge grant offered by the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation and an anonymous donor. Both funders care deeply about the future of Jewish camping and understand security is essential to the success of camps, particularly in a post-October 7th threat landscape.
“We greatly appreciate SCN’s increased efforts and investments to support our field, especially in preparation for the upcoming summer,” said FJC CEO Jeremy J. Fingerman. “Connecting Jewish camps to SCN’s Regional Security Directors – in addition to local Federation security programs – offers them access to expertise and resources that will make a meaningful difference for camp security and safety this summer.”
“We are thrilled to collaborate with FJC on this critical initiative as well as other partners – from individual camps to our Federations,” said SCN National Director & CEO Michael Masters.” By working together, we can build upon our successful track record of enhancing safety and security measures in Jewish communities across the country and extend that level of protection to both day and overnight camps to ensure campers can focus on being campers.”
Since 2021, SCN has directly supported dozens of camps and helped Jewish camps secure over $2.1 million in NSGP grants. The Camp Security Initiative represents a significant expansion of these efforts. For more information about the Camp Security Initiative and how to get involved, please contact the Secure Community Network or Foundation for Jewish Camp.

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About Secure Community Network: The Secure Community Network (SCN), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the official safety and security organization of the Jewish community in North America. Founded in 2004 under the auspices of The Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, SCN serves as the central organization dedicated exclusively to the safety and security of the American Jewish community, working across 146 federations, 50 partner organizations, over 300 independent communities, and other partners in the public, private, nonprofit, and academic sectors. SCN is dedicated to ensuring that Jewish organizations, communities, life, and culture can not only exist safely and securely, but flourish. Learn more at securecommunitynetwork.org.
About Foundation for Jewish Camp: Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) fosters excellence and accelerates innovation at 300+ Jewish day and overnight camps across North America by developing adaptive talent, deepening immersive learning experiences, and driving field growth. FJC supports camps in their effort to provide a lifelong connection to Judaism and elevates Jewish camp on the cultural and philanthropic agenda.  Learn more at jewishcamp.org.