Chicago Jews take self-defense seriously, host 100 at safety seminar

The Concerned Citizens League (CCL) Shul Members’ seminar was titled “Defending your Castle.”

By David Isaac, World Israel News

A Chicago Jewish defense group held an in-person and online home defense and safety seminar for 100 people on Sunday as crime in the city skyrockets, reaching the center of the Jewish community, The Jewish Press reports.

The Concerned Citizens League (CCL) Shul Members’ seminar, titled “Defending your Castle,” was led by a security and counter-terrorism assessment veteran with over 25 years of service, director of Shul Security Services Craig Lawrence.

Lawrence stressed the importance of risk and reward, lowering the reward for the criminal and making the risk higher. “Each layer of defense makes you a less attractive target. Those small steps can make a huge difference in keeping your home and family safe, and your peace of mind intact,” he said.

“Since October 2, there have been at least five armed robberies and two shootings in Rogers Park, the heart of the Jewish Community in Chicago,” reports The Jewish Press. It has become bad enough that Chicago police officers who attended the event warned participants not to travel alone and to be aware of their surroundings.

Despite the fact that Chicago has long been known for its violence, with shootings and homicides up sharply in 2020, Rogers Park has been considered a fairly safe neighborhood until now.

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Lakeview, to the south of Rogers Park, which also has a strong Jewish presence, has also seen security deteriorate recently.

On Sunday, the local ABC affiliate said, “Chicago police are warning residents after a number of strong-arm robberies in Lakeview and surrounding Chicago neighborhoods. Police say eight robberies have recently occurred between Oct. 13 and Oct 20.”

“In one robbery, the suspects allegedly battered a victim before taking the property,” police added.

(CCL) Shul Members says its mission “is to promote safety, wellbeing, and support to faith-based communities.”

The group was founded in 2016 to “empower the Jewish community to protect and defend their homes, shuls, and communities through training, education, information sharing, security awareness, preparedness & support.”