Holistic Self-Defense for the Jewish Community


Yehudis Litvak

Formed about a year ago, the American Jewish Community Security Council (AJCSC) has been offering a holistic self-defense course for members of the West Coast Jewish community. The course, developed in collaboration with military and law enforcement instructors, provides preparation for both planned attacks and natural disasters. To date, AJCSC has trained over fifty people, mostly in the Greater Los Angeles area. The goal is to empower community leaders to protect themselves in emergency situations.

Holistic self-defense consists of many components. The first is the importance of awareness and ability to recognize danger. Another component is “verbal judo” – using body language and engaging with potential attacker to diffuse the situation and prevent a fight. Other components are state of mind, personal fitness, and taking precautions that would discourage potential attackers.

In addition, the course participants receive training in using firearms, as well as an opportunity to purchase a defensive hand gun. After a thorough safety training, the participants attend a private range, where former military and law enforcement instructors teach them to use their guns in different situations.

The course also provides emergency preparedness training. The participants learn the best ways to respond in case of fire or a natural disaster.

The AICSC emphasizes that they work as closely as they can with law enforcement and other first responders. They encourage the participants to contact law enforcement whenever possible if an emergency arises. However, in cases where time is of critical importance, the participants will be prepared to respond to an emergency before other help arrives.

Due to the sensitive nature of AJCSC’s work, they do not disclose the names of their founders or members. AJSCS guarantees complete privacy to any community member who takes the course.

Moreover, not everyone is accepted into the course. Each applicant is required to provide references who can vouch for their moral and emotional stability.

AICSC is hoping to raise community awareness in the area of self-defense. AJCSC’s director, who chose to remain anonymous for privacy reasons, says that AJCSC would like to build confidence in the community about a previously taboo topic, so that community members could be comfortable with self-defense while maintaining safety. By taking the course, “you can take yourself off the victim list,” he says. At the same time, the participants are taught to do everything they can before the conflict escalates, so that it would not be necessary to use their self-defense skills.

For more information, AICSC can be contacted by email — info.ajcsc@gmail.com.