In 2017, the Jewish Federation of St. Louis hired a community security director following a year of bomb threats against Jewish institutions and in particular, the vandalism at Chesed Shel Emeth. The professional they hired was Scott Biondo. A longtime security consultant, ADL was very familiar with Scott’s work. He was the right choice at the right time.
On December 6, ADL Heartland bestowed the 2020 Distinguished Service Award on Scott Biondo. Scott has become an extraordinary presence in the community, providing personal engagement at all levels of security awareness. He has organized a community security structure with outreach to all institutions, provided risk assessments and emergency response plans for those with vulnerable buildings, responded quickly when hate and bias crime has occurred. There are even security vehicles patrolling the Millstone Campus. Scott has shared his expertise with non-Jewish institutions allied with synagogues in smaller communities around the region, talking with Mosque leaders, for instance, in St. Louis, Springfield and into Southern Illinois. Scott attends regional events so that he can better experience their rhythm and have a personal presence and relationship with those responsible for maintaining institutional security. He has created strong relationships between community institutions and their law enforcement representatives. He has even become a fundraiser of sorts, helping staff apply for DHS counter-terrorism grants. For ADL he has been an important community partner, and the Heartland office maintains contact with Scott weekly and more than that when circumstances warrant. We make a very good team.
With 30+ years in security, running a full-service investigation agency providing support to law firms, the insurance industry and domestic and multi-national corporations, Scott has brought a level of integrity and professionalism at a crucial time for the regional Jewish community. He has upped our game to a very high level of respect and awareness – and security awareness and preparedness is something that many in congregational and day school life simply didn’t have the resources for or the attention to give to in the past. With Scott at the security helm the St. Louis Jewish community is paying close attention and we are grateful to have such an experienced and focused partner. It is truly not an understatement to say that Scott’s responsiveness is strong, 24/7.
With thanks for making us a safer, more aware and resourced Jewish community, ADL Heartland honors Scott Biondo with the 2020 Distinguished Service Award.