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Press Releases

Feb. 16th 2020

         Life Saving Course Offered by CCL Shul

                                     Members to Enhance Readiness to Save Lives  
As synagogues around the US take increased precautionary safety measures, a Chicago-based Jewish organization is offering courses that can save lives in the event of an attack. “Stop the Bleed” is a 60-minute course designed to teach skills a bystander can use to save lives in the event of traumatic injuries, such as those caused by knife or gunshot wounds.  
The free Certified “Stop the Bleed” course will take place in the WiFi Building at 8170 McCormick Blvd twice a month beginning Feb. 16. These classes are sponsored by CCL Shul Members, a grass roots organization dedicated to promoting synagogue and communal safety. As part of their ongoing efforts to enhance readiness in the event of an attack, CCL Shul Members recognized a need to create a pool of individuals trained to provide lifesaving first aid in the event of traumatic injury or catastrophic sudden illness.
“We pray that the safety of our families and community members will never be compromised,” said Dovid “But if ever our communities come under attack, ‘Stop the Bleed’ can save lives.”
While the city of Chicago has pledged to address its shortage of ambulances, the average EMS response time remains over seven minutes, according to reports. Severe bleeding can cause death in two to five minutes, however. In Chicago, this response time gap has come into stark focus after a woman bled to death last October while waiting for an ambulance, which took eight minutes to arrive despite five desperate 911 calls by family members, according to a CBS 2 report.  
“Applying a tourniquet is a bystander intervention that can save lives during the time it takes for professional emergency medical services to arrive on the scene,” said Capt. Chaplain Dovid Grossman, U.S.A.F. Auxiliary, who will be giving the “Stop the Bleed” course. “And as responsible members of our communities, it’s important we have the training to save lives. That is why we’re promoting this essential course.”
Grossman will share lessons learned in over 30 years in emergency services. He has volunteered with Orange County Search and Rescue as well as Hatzolah Chicago and is currently serving with the Civil Air Patrol.
The “Stop the Bleed” course, will take place at the WiFi Building, 8150 McCormick Blvd, Skokie, IL, from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on the following dates: Feb. 16, March 8, March 15, March 29, April 26, May 10 and May 24.
There is no charge for either course, but capacity is limited, and pre-registration is required. Interested individuals may register online @   
The “Stop the Bleed” course comes in conjunction with National Stop the Bleed Day, which is May 23rd. A one-day call to action supported by the U.S. Department of Defense and the
American College of Surgeons, National Stop the Bleed Day encourages people to get training that can help prevent trauma-related deaths, 40% of which are due to bleeding or its consequences, according to


From The Modern Jewish Experience

Feb. 5th 2020

Feeling Safe with CCL Shul Members

By Terri Mlotek


These days, going to any large group event can cause a bit of anxiety. The adage of “security in numbers” falls short due to the recent events over the last ten years. But for the Jewish community at large, it’s increasingly tense. And every Shabbat, the with the collective that repeats in synagogues and shuls all over the country, it’s even more important to be aware of our surroundings.It was recently brought to my attention that an organization which up until recently was behind the scenes, has now been brought into the light.


This organization of men in the community are looking to protect our synagogues and our family of Jews. There are called CCL Shul Members.I recently sat down with one of the members to find out more about them, their mission and how their integration into the shul community has sparked a sense of safety and some apprehension as well. CCL Shul Members is a four year old grassroots organization of approximately 150 members, mostly men, who are mentored and trained to carry and successfully utilize guns for defense purposes. Their sole objective is to protect their shuls/synagogue members in the event of an intrusion by hostile forces. I asked the question; “How do you feel that this group of human beings is essential to the safety of their members?” The response was “Some shuls and synagogues have security guards. If someone wants to get in, those security guards will take the first hit. That is the warning sign. CCL Shul Members are the first true line of defense for the members inside the sanctuaries.”


Considering the recent events around the country targeting Jews, this appeared to be an important route to examine. But as you would expect, not everyone is on board with this approach. There is still a surprising amount of resistance amongst the Jewish Community members that see this kind of strategy as taboo. There is still some stigma attached to this, and the concern about guns in the wrong hands is always a worry. To address those concerns, CCL Shul Members have a clear and rigorous vetting and training program newly facilitated by Magen US. The vetting process verifies licensing, FBI and State fingerprint background checks, random drug testing, psychological evaluations, a “no alcohol usage” agreement while carrying, as well as a one million dollar conceal and carry insurance policy. Politics aside, there are more vetting elements, which are detailed on their website.


To date, there are over forty synagogues around the Chicagoland area with strategically placed members alert and intently watching over their fellow members. That seems relatively small considering the number of shuls and synagogues there are in totality. But the hope is that with knowledge and understanding, this continues to grow.Of course, the political debate with respect to the 2nd amendment will always come into play. However, consider these facts: There were 1,879 anti-Semitic attacks in 2018. The third highest in four decades. That was reported by the ADL. In 2019, the first six months of the year had more anti-Semitic attacks than in the previous 20 years. How do we protect ourselves in our most vulnerable state? Regardless of your political views, the safety of our family is increasingly in jeopardy. And Jews historically have survived throughout time by fighting for themselves first. There are number of Jewish Gun Clubs in California and Nevada and now in Chicago. The time for our devoted members to stand up and keep us all safe, may be now. The debate will always be there. But let us not fear what we don’t understand.

Oct. 19th 2020

Defending Your Castle


Violent crime is on the rise in Chicago and one group of volunteers is out to help everyone feel safer. This past Sunday, CCL Shul Members hosted an in-person and zoom, home defense and safety seminar for more than 100 people. Since October 2nd there have been at least 5 armed robberies and 2 involved shootings in Rogers Park, the heart of the Jewish Community in Chicago. Chicago Police Officers are recommending to not travel alone and to practice situational awareness.


As the pandemic continues the senses of fear and separation widen. But long before the pandemic, Concerned Citizens League Shul Members, a 501c3 nonprofit, was working to foster safety through community engagement. To push away the fear of the unknown and focus on ways to educate and protect, CCL Shul Members believe knowledge is power. The seminar, entitled, Defending Your Castle, was led by their Shul Security Director Craig Lawrence CPP CAS, a security and counter-terror assessment veteran, with more than 25 years of service. The conference discussed the 5 core elements of a home security strategy. These are- deter, detect, deny, delay, and defend as well as tips and tactics to support each element. This included low-cost and realistic security equipment recommendations, up to date strategies for preventing and disrupting home invasions and robberies, and how to integrate security cameras, panic buttons, and self-defense weapons into your home security plan.


Mr. Lawrence emphasized the necessity of making the risk for the criminal higher than the reward. "Each layer of defense makes you a less attractive target; Those small steps can make a huge difference in keeping your home and family safe, and your peace of mind intact." The seminar, which was free to community members, is available as a digital recording. For more information about this and other CCL programs such as, Stop the Bleed- how to tie a tourniquet to save a life- visit 


CCL Shul Members is a non-profit organization founded in 2016 to empower the Jewish community to protect and defend their homes, shuls, and communities through training, education, information sharing, security awareness, preparedness and support.

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