JINSA opened its first satellite office on October 28 in Davie, Florida (metro Miami). The office will house members of JINSA’s development team. The local Jewish Journal newspaper covered the Open House event hosted by members of JINSA’s professional staff. The article appears below.
Jewish Journal (Broward South)
November 6, 2008
Jewish Security Affairs Institute Opens Office
By David A. Schwartz
JINSA opened a regional office in Ft. Lauderdale in November 2008 to house staff related to the organization's development efforts. Seen at the ribbon-cutting ceremony in the photo on the left are: (left to right) Orange County (Fla.) Sheriff Kevin Beary, an alumnus of JINSA's Law Enforcement Exchange Program trip to Israel; Jonathan Kislak, Chairman of the Editorial Committee of JINSA's Journal of International Security Affairs; and Dr. Steve Silvers, JINSA Chairman for Florida.A small Jewish agency with a big mission - protecting the security of the United States and Israel - recently opened its Florida office in Davie.
The non-profit, non-partisan Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) was founded in 1976, three years after the Yom Kippur War and is "concerned with U.S. security and U.S. cooperation with democratic allies and Israel in particular," Tom Neumann, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based agency, said. "The Jewish community cannot be exempt from that process. There has to be a Jewish voice for that and we are that voice."
"We're not a secret," Shoshana Bryen, senior director for security policy, said. The agency has two separate audiences -- military and security professionals and its membership base.
"We intend to do more work in Florida," Carol Effrat, national director of strategic planning and development, said. "There is a desire for people to want to get more engaged."
Effrat, who will work out of the Davie office, said the agency led a trip for local members to the United States Southern Command in Miami and to the [counter-narcotics] Joint Interagency Task Force in Key West.
JINSA sends retired U.S. senior generals and admirals who are still active in national security policy to Israel for meetings and study with their Israeli counterparts, according to the agency pamphlet.
Rabbi Andrew Jacobs affixes a mezzuzah to the doorpost of the new office while Dr. Silvers and (at right) Gil Neuman, Co-Chairman of JINSA's Florida Cabinet, look on.It has also taken groups of cadets and midshipmen from American military academies to Israel for 20 years.
"Our goal is to give these people a positive experience in their early years," Bryen said. "What they come back with is [that] most of what they knew about Israel is wrong.
"The military has a very fixed view of who the good guys and the bad buys are," she said. "These guys take a very serious and long view of the security of the U.S. The military guys are not as responsive to the day-to-day politics."
Through its Law Enforcement Exchange Program, JINSA also takes U.S. police officers to Israel to study counter terrorism methods. And it brings Israeli experts to the United States to conduct conferences for law enforcement agencies.
"The police have to learn what to look for," Bryen said. "In many cases American security has changed how they look at large venues."
American police agencies have changed how they operate on all levels, Mark Broxmeyer, a Long Island businessman and JINSA national chairman, said. "We're passing on information to them they can't get anywhere else." He said police officers are "astounded at how much information they learn in Israel."
Neumann said the terrorist attacks in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001 "did wake everyone up." The U.S. had "no experience with terrorism. It was an international, not a domestic issue," he said. "[Israelis] told us it was going to happen and we didn't take them seriously."
"We ignored the first wake up call," the first bombing of the World Trade Center, Bryen said.
Neumann said Americans think about negotiations as a way to achieve peace; terrorists do not.