Security preparedness for High Holy Days

Security preparedness for High Holy Days

In advance of the High Holy Days, ADL New York/New Jersey is reaching out to synagogues and Jewish community institutions across the region to provide information on security preparedness and to remind them to make security an everyday priority.

ADL has shared a list of security best practices and encouraged institutions to reach out to local law enforcement to discuss security and advise them of holiday schedules and events. The High Holy Days begin at sundown on Sunday, Sept. 9, and Rosh HaShanah is observed on Sept. 10 and 11; Yom Kippur is observed from sundown on Tuesday, Sept. 18, to sundown on Wednesday, Sept. 19.

“It’s important that Jewish institutions take the time now to ensure that security plans and protocols are in place before the High Holidays are upon us,” said Evan Bernstein, regional director, ADL New York/New Jersey. “With the anticipated increase in attendance to services and events during the holidays, we hope that the necessary precautions are taken so that all congregants feel safe to worship and celebrate.”

In recent weeks, representatives from ADL New York/New Jersey have attended security briefings held in coordination with local police departments for synagogues and Jewish communal organizations in the region.

ADL has sent a list of security recommendations for the holidays to synagogues and other Jewish communal institutions. Among the recommendations:

• Connect with local law enforcement to discuss security and advise them of holiday schedules and events.

• Ensure that ushers understand that they play a critical role in security matters, as they are often used to control access to the sanctuary and are in a position to spot trouble early.

• Establish procedures for controlling access to houses of worship, and keeping access to a facility restricted to as few entry points as possible so that all people accessing the facility are greeted and

• Ensure that existing safety devices are in good working condition.

• Ensure that staff, leadership, and constituents know their role in security and what to do in the event of an emergency.

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