What is Magen Yehuda?


Magen Yehuda is an organization that provides top level training to community first response teams and other security personnel of Israeli communities throughout the country.


What is a First Response Team?


A First Response Team, or kitat konanut as it is called, are a group of qualified civilian community members specifically trained to detect, defend and react to terrorist attacks in order to protect the citizens of their community. They are the first ones on the scene, securing their community until the Israeli Defense Forces can arrive. They work in complete coordination with the IDF.


When was Magen Yehuda established and why?


Magen Yehuda was established in 2004 as a response to the rise in threats and terror acts against Israeli citizens. It was clear that communities needed on site protection and immediate action in order to thwart these potential threats and to limit the damage, especially the loss of life, in the event of an infiltration into a community.


What about the IDF, The Israeli Defense Force, don't they protect Israeli citizen in these situations?


Certainly the Israeli army is there to protect our citizens and Magen Yehuda works in full coordination with the IDF in training the civilian first response teams.In fact the IDF are the ones who implemented "kitot konenut" throughout Israel.  It is important to note that studies have shown that the first few minutes after an attack are critical in order to save lives, limit damage and to secure the community. Since first responders are "on premises" community members with intimate knowledge of their surroundings they are at an advantage even over the IDF soldiers that may never have been in the community at all.

I heard the Civilian First Response Teams get trained by the IDF . What makes Magen Yehuda's training different?

The IDF does provide minimal training to community civilian first response teams, and does provide them with tactical gear in order to protect their communities. Being a member of a first response team is a tremendous responsibility; you literally hold the safety of countless individuals within your hands. Unfortunately the IDF does not have the resources to properly train and coordinate the day to day business of the first response teams. That is where Magen Yehuda steps in. Magen Yehuda works closely with the lead team members and security officers within each community and is able to create tailor-made training to meet the individual needs of each group. What one team will need is not necessarily what another community's team will require. Our innovative approach is what has saved countless lives since our inception just over eight years ago. 

What type of training does Magen Yehuda provide?

Once the security needs of a community are identified, Magen Yehuda maps out tailor made training sessions. These sessions may include outdoor tactical training, tracking, and lessons on dealing with all types of terrain. Practice sessions also include ways to identify the targets, protecting civilians and evacuating and securing the scene of an incident. Sessions often involve real life scenarios so that each member of the team can sharpen their skills and the role they would play in the event of an infiltration or attack.

Who are these dedicated volunteers? Are they all trained IDF soldiers?

Community first response team volunteers may be school teachers, Rabbis, contractors, electricians, doctors, attorneys, students or accountants etc., in their daily lives. They may be Israeli born army reservists or olim chadashim (new immigrants).  A typical Community First Response volunteer is a dedicated community member, one who is willing to go the extra mile to ensure the safety and security of his neighborhoods. He gives of his time, and is ready at a moment's notice if his skills are needed.  When called to duty the common element that brings these special people together is their dedication to the safety of their families, their community and the people of Israel.

Read More: