The Jewish Federation, Foundation and JCC focus on the safety and security of our community every day. We work to prepare and plan for the unimaginable so that should there be an incident we are ready to respond appropriately.
Unfortunately, we have had more than our fair share of situations that have tested our preparedness. While we continue to receive high marks from our constituency that we are protecting, and praise from the law enforcement community, this is one test we could all do without.
Yesterday our JCC received another telephonic threat which came into our receptionist at approximately 11:48 am. We took immediate action to evacuate the fitness facility at Research Drive and the administrative offices at Litchfield Turnpike. Given the nature of the threat and our current situation with regard to multiple spaces, we determined it best for our children located at B’nai Jacob to remain in their classrooms while we ascertained the true nature of the threat. Just as had happened earlier in the month, our JCC was targeted as one of many JCCs in a wave of threats that were all deemed not credible by law enforcement.
We are working closely with our partners at the Woodbridge Police Department, the FBI, ADL and Secure Community Network (SCN) with the hope that the perpetrators will be caught soon and brought to justice. Our security committee continues to meet on a regular basis to evaluate our procedures and response so that we can tighten any existing gaps. In addition to asking for increased police presence around all of our locations, we are considering other options as well as we solicit advice from experts.
It is the nature of news media today to report information as soon as they become aware of it. News outlets monitor the police scanners and each time we’ve had an incident I’ve had a call or calls from reporters even before police or fire reach the scene. While we intend to share relevant information as quickly as possible (especially to parents) our first priority must and will always be the safety of those in our care. Communication will be secondary, although we do understand how important it is, and will continue to use multiple channels to get our message out. We are currently exploring new methods of text communication and plan to update you shortly. We will also post on Facebook and on our websites.
The goal of the terrorists is to harass, disrupt and strike fear with minimal investment. We cannot and will not give into them. We returned to business as usual as quickly as possible yesterday to carry on our important work on behalf of our community. We will persevere. We will continue to speak out for tolerance, peace, kindness and love and we will continue to take strength from the support that binds us all together as one community with one heart.
Hopefully I will be able to write to you again soon with more information about happier news regarding our community. As always, should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to read more about yesterday's events