Gaza fighting continues, should you up your security game?
The ongoing military conflict between Israel and Hamas has lead to disturbing attacks on Jewish institutions abroad. While there are no specific threats to U.S. Jewish institutions or individuals, JCRC-NY recommends that Jewish institutions increase their levels of vigilance out of an abundance of caution.
- Create a culture of security. Institutions shouldn’t merely subcontract security. Even buildings with well-trained security personnel shouldexpect that staff and constituencies should be part of the security equation. Everyone should have heightened vigilance in times like these. For tips on security awareness, click here and the ADL’s Guide to Detecting Surveillance of Jewish Institutions and 18 Best Practices for Jewish Institutional Security.
- Be in contact with your local police. Someone (or more than one) should have ongoing personal relationships with key police personnel. They should know you, your building and your organizational activities.
- Discuss your security procedures with them and ask them for suggestions for improvement.
- Inform them of the dates and times your regular events and of special events.
- Revisit and review your security plans and procedures.
- Access control. Did you hear the one about a pro-Israel organization visited by a middle-aged, well-dressed woman saying that she wanted to make a contribution? They opened the door for her and a dozen protesters rushed in. Nine of the invaders were arrested. Are you vulnerable to such antics? Take the time to review your access control procedures. For more information and guidance see JCRC-NY’s Sample Building Access Policies & Procedures (PDF).
- Bomb threats. Review your bomb threat procedures and make sure that your staff (especially those who answer the phones) know what is expected of them. For a range of resources from top agencies, including the FBI and the DHS guidance click here.
- Suspicious packages. Is your staff aware that they should be on the lookout for suspicious packages? For USPS guidance click here.
- Active shooters. See both quick pocket-card and in-depth resources from DHS, FBI and other agencies here.
- Assess your cybersecurity. Over the past month the websites of several Jewish-affiliated organizations were hacked. Protect your organization. See Cybersecurity for Jewish organizations 101: an update and how to have inexpensive and effective backup and other plans at Resources to prepare your organization’s technology for a disaster.
Click here to contact JCRC-NY for further guidance and advice.