One Year After Colleyville, SCN+ to Host Webinar on Surviving Hostage Situations

Event to Include Hostage Survivor, Former FBI Agents, and Panel of Safety and Security Experts

One year after four hostages escaped an 11-hour standoff at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, the Secure Community Network (SCN), The Jewish Federations of North America, and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations will host a webinar detailing what to do when faced with a hostage situation and how to survive. SCN is the official safety and security organization of the Jewish community in North America. The free virtual event, which will be open to the public, will be held on 19 January from 11:00 to 12:30 p.m. MST. Participants may register at

“Although houses of worship are generally very safe, violent attacks on members of faith communities are increasing at an alarming rate,” said SCN National Director and CEO Michael Masters. “We cannot choose the time and place of the next attack, but we can choose our level of preparedness. This webinar will teach crucial survival skills that can save lives if the worst should happen – as they did a year ago in Colleyville.”

Attendees will learn from Jeff Cohen, president of Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, who credits his ability to escape from the January 2021 hostage situation to the security training SCN provided in the months before the incident. Security experts who are former FBI special agents will explain the three phases of a hostage situation and what to do to survive each phase.

Additional speakers will include:

  • Shawn Brokos, Director of Community Security, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh
  • Harold Gernsbacher, President, Secure Community Network
  • Beth LaManna, Regional Security Advisor, Jewish Nevada
  • Dianne Lob, Chair, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
  • Michael Masters, National Director and CEO, Secure Community Network
  • Bradley Orsini, Senior National Security Advisor, Secure Community Network
  • John Piser, Regional Director, Secure Community Network
  • Julie Platt, Chair, The Jewish Federations of North America

The Secure Community Network (SCN), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the official homeland 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

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