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Preparing for the worst Congregation B'nai Abraham has active shooter training

June 12, 2019 News Extra

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Brad Orsini, director of Jewish Community Security for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, provides active shooter training Wednesday for Congregation B'nai Abraham.

Congregation B'nai Abraham gathered security experts for active shooter training Wednesday.

By hosting the training, Butler County's only synagogue joined many Jewish organizations and places of worship in Western Pennsylvania to arm itself with knowledge in the wake of last October's shooting at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue. Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer said prior to that tragedy, she never imagined the need for such training.

“Unfortunately, people need this now, and not just in the place they worship,” Gray-Schaffer said. “They need it almost anytime they're in a public space. You never know where there will be an active shooter these days.”

The training came free through the congregation's membership in the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. Brad Orsini, director of Jewish Community Security for the federation, led the program with help from some public safety personnel.

Orsini spent 28 years with the FBI before his current role, according to the federation's website. Gray-Schaffer said they've tried to arrange a session with Orsini several times since the shooting, but that in its aftermath his job grew dramatically busier.

“I think we need it,” Gray-Schaffer said before the training. “I know he's going to teach us when you run, when you hide and when you fight. And he's going to train us with ideas for our specific space. He'll give us specific plans for our building.”

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