Safety and Security Resources for Your Congregation

March 3, 2017Michael H. Goldberg

With bomb threats and acts of vandalism aimed at Jewish institutions dominating the headlines, congregational leaders are evaluating their synagogues’ safety and security procedures. To support this critically important effort, check out these resources available to your congregation.

  1. One of the most important resources for all Jewish organizations is the Secure Community Network (SCN), a non-profit organization supporting safety and security preparation for the American Jewish community. Led by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Jewish Federations of North America, SCN offers regular webinars and other vital information, much of which is shared in The Tent, the URJ’s online communication and collaboration platform for congregational leaders.
  1. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is another organization whose work is more vital than ever. Many Reform leaders participated in a recent conference call led by the ADL and the FBI, the recording of which also is available in The Tent.
  1. Of course, a focus on safety and security is nothing new for Jewish organizations, including synagogues. Some congregations have shared their emergency response procedures in The Tent so others can learn from their practices. Last August, congregational leaders participated in an online discussion of security for the High Holidays. Both of these conversations are in The Tent. The lessons about maintaining a balance between being welcoming and protecting the community gathered in the synagogue apply throughout the year.
  1. Examining the technological solutions available to support a synagogue’s security plan can be overwhelming. In The Tent, a recent (and robust) conversation about tech solutions explored the pros and cons of fingerprint scanners, key fobs, camera systems, and more.

For the latest information and additional resources, or to post your own questions, visit the Safety and Security group in The Tent or contact the URJ Knowledge Network.

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