March 10 2017
With the recent escalation of threats against Jewish institutions, we want to reassure you that the leadership and staff of the synagogue are prepared to respond to emergencies, and the safety of our members is our top priority.
We want to take this opportunity to review how we receive security information and the procedures we practice in response to what we hope will continue to be hypothetical threats. We are in regular contact with the NYPD’s 17th Precinct, with whom we have a close relationship and is located only a block from the synagogue. Our security company, Security USA, specializes in synagogues and schools. They give us current information on security issues in New York City and the synagogue area in particular. The executive staff recently met with them to discuss the spate of bomb threats. The Rabbi and Minna attended an interfaith meeting on security led by John Miller, Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism of the New York Police Department. We are thankful that all our sources find the current threats “not credible.” Nevertheless, we have trained to respond if needed.
Our children and staff are well-practiced in evacuation drills. Our teachers, administrative and maintenance staff know lock-down procedures, and we will run practice drills throughout the year. During the day, access to the building is restricted and the doors are locked except for drop-off and pick-up. Our services are open to the public, but we reserve the right to restrict access if security deems it necessary. We plan to hold an evacuation drill during Shabbat services in the near future, and volunteers will be trained to assist.
You too can help. Law enforcement professionals all emphasize a phrase that seems cliché but it is fundamental: “If you see something, say something.” Call 911, if you see anything suspicious.
Our proactive measures, training and continuous communication with Security USA and the NYPD has prepared us to be ready for emergencies, in the unlikely event, that one may occur.
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of us.
Shari Pochapin, President
Rachel Ain, Rabbi
Minna Schneider, Executive Director
Shabbat shalom! In this Torah portion, Tetzaveh
, God appoints Aaron and his sons as priests. God describes the priestly clothing, and explains how to properly sanctify the priests. Aaron is commanded to make incense offerings to God every morning on an altar. God explains that once a year Aaron will make an offering on that altar to atone for all of the Israelites’ sins.