As High Holidays Approach Reform Congregations Review Security Policies Union for Reform Judaism provides materials to secure sacred places
September 5, 2006 New York - As the High Holy Day season and the fifth anniversary of September 11 approach, synagogues across the country are carefully reviewing their security plans to be certain to take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of their members and buildings.
While most synagogues are well aware of the need to be cautious and vigilant, the leadership of most congregations changes over the summer. So we also take the extra step of alerting them to the resources that are available, said Rabbi Elliott Kleinman, director of programs for the Union for Reform Judaism. This includes a facilities manual from our Department of Synagogue Management as well as extensive online resources, he said.
The horrific shootings in Seattle this past summer are a tragic reminder that every precaution must be taken to ensure to security of Jewish institutions across North America. Therefore in addition to the online resources, the Union suggests that all congregations contact their local law enforcement agencies to review and if necessary update security procedures.
The resources available through the Union include a 40 page synagogue facilities guide, a checklist of current security plans, an outline for further action and a resource bank with more than 2300 ideas and programs successfully implemented in Union congregations. For more information about these resources please visit www.urj.org/synmgmt/security.
The Union for Reform Judaism (formerly the Union of American Hebrew Congregations) is the central body of Reform Judaism in North America, uniting 1.5 million Reform Jews in more than 900 synagogues. Union services include camps, music and book publishing, outreach to unaffiliated and intermarried Jews, educational programs, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, D.C.