Security and Our Community

From renovations in the lobby of the Weinberg Park Heights JCC to participation in a pilot program with Secure Community Network (SCN), The Associated continues to update its facilities and technologies to ensure our community remains safe.

This fall, the Weinberg Park Heights JCC will begin work on revamping its lobby, redesigning the entrance to make it more secure. In addition, the JCC will construct a new entry for visitors and implement a new system for tracking visitors.

The project is part of a $75,000 Homeland Security grant that The Associated received last year. The grant also went towards other upgrades including reworking the entrance to JTown, located at the Weinberg Park Heights JCC.

At the same time, The Associated was one of eight federations from across the country selected to test a new state-of-the-art emergency alert system by SCN. This nationally recognized platform, used by hundreds of organizations in the public and private sector allows Federations to provide vital information to synagogues, schools and others through email, phone or mobile app in the event of an imminent security threat.

In fact, while piloting this platform this winter, Keith Tiedemann, director of security for The Associated, saw how useful this system was when the JCC of Greater Baltimore received a text message from this SCN Emergency Alert System that bomb threats were occurring in other cities.

I used the system to notify our JCCs, our Federation leaders and respective facilities as well as all the major Jewish Day Schools and synagogues in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area as well as local law enforcement. We received a bomb threat at our JCC in Baltimore almost 20 minutes later but thanks to the advance notice we were able to initiate our security protocols and prepare to evacuate nearly 100 pre-k children, employees and visitors. If this would have been an actual bombing, this advanced notification would have had saved hundreds of lives. I have also received feedback back from three major Jewish schools which collectively have nearly 4000 students thanking us for the advance notice which also enabled them to prepare in case of an emergency.

Based on this pilot’s success, the system is being rolled out to Federations nationwide.

The Associated continues to work closely with the local, state and federal law enforcement, our most valued partners in keeping our community safe. These partners have stepped up vigilance and are placing a higher priority on keeping watch over many Jewish institutions including synagogues, day schools and cemeteries.

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