October 7, 2022


ROC Against Antisemitism (ROCAA) Spearheads Introduction of

Krav Maga Community Self-Defense in Rochester


Rochester, New York – ROC Against Antisemitism (ROCAA) a 501(c)(3) not for profit

corporation organized by the founders of Brighton Stands Against Antisemitism for the purpose

of providing resources and education necessary to help concerned citizens of Greater Rochester

stand against antisemitism in all of its forms, today announced the successful launch of a multi-

part Krav Maga self-defense program in Rochester.

ROCAA, in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, ROC Strong and

the Jewish Community Center of Greater Rochester (JCC), today announced that the multi-part

Krav Maga self-defense program (which described in greater detail below) will commence on

October 30, 2022. The inaugural class consists of 4, weekly 90-minute sessions to be held at the

JCC on four consecutive Sunday mornings. Each Krav Maga class is limited to 16 people. The

inaugural class sold out within minutes of the program being announced and additional sessions

will be added for the remainder of 2022 and into 2023. Those persons who did not secure a spot

in the inaugural program will be placed on a priority registration list for a future 4-session class.

The dates and times of the future classes will be announced in the coming weeks.

According to ROCAA co-founder Ahavya Deutsch, “ROCAA conceived of Krav Maga

for the Rochester Jewish community in light of ever-increasing violent incidents targeting

Jews around the world and right here at home. Krav Maga, which is now the official martial art

of the Israel Defense Forces, began in the 1930s as a way to help Jews protect themselves during

another era when antisemitism was on the rise.” Continued ROCAA co-founder Tiffany

Rothenberg “[w]e beleive that as a Jewish community we have a responsibility to work to

proactively to make our community safer for everyone. That includes not only speaking out

against Jew hatred, but also learning and teaching the skills and acquiring the confidence

necessary to keep ourselves and our families physically safe.”

“This course has been designed to teach, first and foremost, some basic skills on how to

assess, avoid and remove yourself from potentially dangerous situations. Participants will also

learn some basic self-defense techniques so that action can be taken in the event imminent

violence is threatened,” added Leah Goldman, also a co-founder of ROCAA.

Each introductory Krav Maga program will consist of 4 classes.


The first class will be led by Mark Henderson, Director of Community Security at the Jewish Federation of Greater

Rochester, and will cover real-world strategies to help participants deal with and hopefully

avoid potentially dangerous situations. Mark Henderson joined the Federation following his

retirement from the Town of Brighton Police Department after more than 30 years of service,

most recently as Chief of Police. As the Federation’s Director of Community Security, he

advises the Jewish community on its various security efforts across western New York.


The next 3 classes in the 4-week program will be an introduction to basic Krav Maga core

skills and will be led by Krav Maga Situ Mark Messare. Mark Messare has been teaching

martial arts for over 25 years, including to several Jewish organizations. Mark has studied Krav

Maga in Israel and is the owner of APLEA Krav Maga in Fairport, New York, where he also

teaches. “As a member of the broader community, it is gut wrenching to see antisemitic behavior

on the rise. I am delighted to be a part of this effort designed to empower the Rochester Jewish

community to keep itself safe,” said Mark.

ROCAA is a not-for-profit corporation under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) and was

organized by founders of Brighton Stands Against Antisemitism to help educate the entire

Greater Rochester community on standing up against antisemitism in all of its forms.


Learn more, including how to get involved in our grassroots efforts and how to make your tax-

deductible donation to support our work, by visiting ROCAA’s Facebook page at



For more information, you can also contact:

ROC Against Antisemitism

Leora Rozin