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News & Press

February 2, 2006

The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia is hosting an educational trip to Israel in February

The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia is hosting an educational trip to Israel in February on anti-terror security for Philadelphia and Pennsylvania state law enforcement, security and public service officials. The trip is made possible as a result of the generous contribution from US Security Care, Inc. The trip’s itinerary focuses on Israel’s anti-terror security procedures, facilities, and response tactics — providing valuable information and hands-on experiences that can help enhance local homeland security and medical facility preparedness.

The trip was organized by Federation’s Government Affairs Department and Center for Israel and Overseas, and is being underwritten by US Security Care, Inc. It is a community outreach initiative that will provide a unique opportunity for professionals who are responsible for local and Commonwealth security to learn from the experiences of Israel’s anti-terror and emergency response programs.  

“Israel’s leadership in security preparedness and effectiveness is recognized worldwide,” said Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell. “Now our security professionals will have a unique opportunity to meet with key security officials in Israel, exchange information and receive hands-on experience to learn anti-terror security measures that can significantly benefit Pennsylvania’s homeland security programs.”

Similar trips were successfully accomplished for Los Angeles, Calif., and Bergen County, N.J., security and law enforcement personnel. The program will provide practical experience and knowledge for key security professionals which can help enhance local security and ultimately save lives. The professionals will learn about Israeli civil security programs that include sophisticated patrol protocols, and electronic and video security monitoring techniques and facilities.

“Having been to Israel myself in 2004, I know how valuable this trip will be for our personnel,” said Col. Jeffrey B. Miller, Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. “The insight and information that our people bring back will help increase the overall level of security in Pennsylvania and the region.”

“The Philadelphia Police Department appreciates and looks forward to the opportunity to meet with Israel’s anti-terror experts,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson. “The officials traveling to Israel for this program will enhance our Department’s ability to combat terrorism. In the spirit of international cooperation, this security mission will benefit all of the residents in the region.”

The week-long program will begin upon arrival in Israel on February 12, 2006, with a meeting with airport security officials on Israel’s airport security procedures and measures. During the week, the security professionals will meet with an Israeli expert on radical Islam and terrorism and receive security briefings and tours from several municipal and military security representatives. This includes visits with security officials at the Seam Line in the West Bank, the Golan, Nabi Mari (overlooking Gaza), Netivot, and Jerusalem. They will also accompany the Civil Guard Police Force on a patrol in Jerusalem. 

The group will tour the Israel Center for Medical Simulation — Chaim Sheba Medical Center of the Tel Hashomer Hospital and experience its simulation program on how victims are treated after a suicide bombing. The Center’s “virtual hospital” trains doctors, nurses and paramedics through sophisticated simulation of trauma and diagnostic protocols.  It is a one-of-a-kind program and is internationally viewed as a model teaching method. They will also meet with Dr. Avi Rifkind, Head of Trauma Department at Hadassah Hospital, the foremost trauma expert in Israel.  Dr. Rifkind has participated in the International Conference on Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.

The program also includes visits to the historic Christian Quarter, the Jewish Quarter, the Dead Sea area, the caves of Qumran, Massada, and the Holocaust memorial in Yad Vashem.

Attending are: 

Captain George L. Bivens, director of the Intelligence Division of the Pennsylvania State Police Department;Edward H. Jasper, M.D., director of the Center for Bio-Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital;Brigadier General James Joseph, director, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency;Captain John P. Lutz, liaison officer, Office of Domestic Security, Pennsylvania State Police Department;Officer Thomas J. Lynch, active bomb technician, Bomb Disposal Unit, Philadelphia Police Department;Corporal John Rolfe, supervisor, Hazardous Device and Explosives Section, Pennsylvania State Police Department;David Lindstedt, director of Protective Services, US Security Care, Inc.;Captain Walt Smith, commanding officer, Homeland Security Unit, Philadelphia Police Department.

For more information on the security professionals’ trip to Israel, contact Robin Schatz at 215.832.0654. 

Press conference planned, schedule to be announced.

Established in 1901, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia is the central non-profit Jewish community organization in the Greater Philadelphia area. Its mission is to identify and prioritize the important issues and needs of our local and global community, then organize and mobilize human and financial resources to successfully impact them.  Federation focuses on Jewish education, human services, family, and economic needs, and provides support for Israel and for Jews at risk elsewhere in the world. Visit us at www.jewishphilly.org.

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