After the January 15 hostage situation at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, security at Jewish institutions around the country has become a major priority.
With that in mind, an anonymous philanthropist recently called Yoni Sherizen, CEO of Gabriel Network, asking for help. “We are grateful that nobody from the congregation was injured or killed, but there is a concern that next time we may not be so fortunate,” he said.
Gabriel Network is an Israeli startup that develops smart technology for security and safety incidents. Co-founders Yoni Sherizen and Asaf Adler decided to launch the startup after a terror attack in Israel and a mass shooting in Florida highlighted the shortcomings of today’s response, which all too often result in delayed reactions, chaos, and the loss of life.
“We saw the ability to democratize technology that had previously been available only to special units and put these life-saving tools in the hands of people who need them most. Improving preparedness and delivering a safer, smarter, and faster response is what motivates us every day,” Sherizen says.
“Give me the lowest possible price for maximum community coverage,” the anonymous donor requested. The Gabriel team offered to provide a starter kit at cost to every institution that wanted it if the philanthropist would pay for installation, training, and the first year of service to ensure communities were adequately equipped and using the technology. If communities wanted to expand beyond the kit, GN would extend a special discount and possibly more support.
The anonymous donor pledged $1 million to cover 500 locations and is enlisting friends to match his gift to help every single synagogue, school, and campus community in the country (an estimated 5,000 buildings).
The initiative follows several Jewish communities across the United States that have already deployed Gabriel’s patented solution, including a smart sensor, command dashboard, and mobile app. The platform provides integrated video, audio, gunshot detection, hot zone mapping, geofencing, robust communication, and instant situational awareness for responders.
An impressive group of leaders has backed Gabriel, including former leaders of Mossad, Shin Bet, FBI, and CIA.
Local police feedback has been enthusiastic since the new system provides not only fast emergency alerts but also gives responders eyes, ears, and a voice on-site before entering a live situation. Gabriel provides the technology for free to responders and charges its customers for the technology that offers even better response.
Most recently, Gabriel has added integration with security camera systems and smart analytics to identify trouble sooner and reduce the cost of setup. “By reducing costs, we can make the technology more accessible and save more lives,” said Asaf Adler.
Based on this concept, Gabriel’s tech combines existing security infrastructure and layers smart tools and connectivity onto them to create a unique platform. With plug & play installation, and simple scalability, Gabriel can protect thousands of locations and alert them of live threats in a short amount of time.
The free version of Gabriel is intended to allow rapid deployment in the face of immediate threats and limited resources. The rollout is being managed by several Jewish organizations including some Jewish Federations.