Today is April 24, 2024 /

Letter from WJC’s President

Dear WJC Friends,

I have used this column over the past year to let you know about many fun and exciting things that are happening behind the scenes at WJC.  Today’s letter will have a more serious tone, about something we all care for deeply.  Something, which by its very nature, we rarely discuss in public; our security.  I am writing to expose you to some of the efforts that are happening – not because of any particular incident, but to reassure you that your leadership takes this topic incredibly seriously.

To start, you should know that WJC has an active security committee, headed by our board member and officer Mark Berger.  The committee has been in place for decades and has recently added many new members.  This group reviews and enhances our security protocols and helps to set the policies for our organization.  Through their efforts we have built strong relationships with the local police departments, synagogues in our region, the attorney general, county-wide officials, the FBI and CSS (Community Security Services).

For those who have not heard of CSS, they are dedicated to protecting Jewish life and have provided security assessments and educational classes.  I have been impressed by their team of dozens of analysts monitoring social media and providing ongoing, real-time threat monitoring, which our team uses to adjust security protocols as needed.  If there is an incident or protest planned anywhere in our area, our team is notified as the concern is identified and our staffing, and perhaps programming adjusted proactively (often quietly).

You should also know that the guards patrolling outside the building and greeting you at the door are provided by our long-term trusted contractor CJ Security.  I am told that many of the guards are former police officers and are supplemented with officers in uniform who we hire from the Village of Mamaroneck at appropriate times.  Please thank all these men and ladies when you see them – they are doing an important job.

WJC has made significant investments in our physical security, some visible and some flying under the radar.  In the past few years, you may have noticed that we have improved the strength of our entrances and exits, installed many high-resolution cameras, and protected the facility from vehicles. Some of the improvements connect directly with our local law enforcement, providing instant notification and visibility in the event of an emergency.

Our staff participate in ongoing security training including physical and emergency planning and annual cyber training. In May all staff will receive additional training regarding everyday security awareness.

There are a few events coming soon that you may want to participate in:

  • CSS active shooter training session led by Bill Hayes, Westchester Director of the Community Security Initiative, on Tuesday evening, April 9 at 7:45 pm.
  • You probably know that both our Nursery School (ECC) and Religious Schools participate in regular fire and lock-down drills.  We will be doing a lock down drill for  congregants as well at an upcoming Shabbat service on April 20th.
  • On the evening of May 14th, Uri Pearl, co-founder of Catch will provide a cyber security training session for all congregants.  Please join virtually and Uri will explain the world of Phishing and  SMishing and what we can do to keep ourselves safe in the online world.

I want to extend my thanks to you, the community for being active participants in keeping us safe and to express our gratitude for those who make our safety their mission.  We are all indebted to you.

Thanks for all you do for WJC!  L’hitraot (see you soon),

Larry

 

 

 

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