Scene of Jersey City kosher grocery store shooting
Scene of Jersey City kosher grocery store shootingReuters

In the wake of recent violent anti-Semitic hate crimes, Chicago Jews are training up — and praying their tactical knowledge never has to be used.

“CCL Shul Members” is an organization that unites Jewish Concealed Carry License (CCL) holders from across Chicagoland to promote the safe and lawful possession and use of firearms.

“Throughout our long history of persecution, Jews have rarely been given the right to defend ourselves from those who wish us harm,” said Chiam Naiditch, the group’s founder. “We are blessed to live in a country where Jews have equal rights, and it is our mission to ensure that these rights are used responsibly to defend ourselves, our families, and our places of worship.”

Following the 2013 Firearm Concealed Carry Act in Illinois, many Jewish people privately applied for — and received — CCLs. While firearms training is a requirement in order to obtain a CCL, the organization’s founders recognized a need for more advanced and situation-specific training to ensure that all those who chose to carry would be able to responsibly and effectively use them, should the need ever arise.

“CCL Shul Members came into being to fill a need,” said Naiditch. “Many Jews have chosen to arm themselves in self-defense, and we were founded to provide high-level, standardized training to ensure we’re all on the same page, and that we’re doing everything we can to ensure we are defending what we hold most dear in a responsible way. The multi-level courses offered by the group are provided by highly qualified trainers, including Illinois Police and SWAT trainers. Monthly get-togethers ensure members are consistently keeping their skills sharp, and include guest speakers to keep participants up-to-date and

“While we pray we will never have to use our weapons, our training ensures that we have the tools to defend ourselves against those who wish us harm,” said Naiditch.