The 2018 hurricane season is well underway. The most recent storm, Hurricane Michael, left parts of the Florida Panhandle in ruins, with at least five people dead and 1.1 million without power.

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Nothing is more critical than the safety and well-being of our communities. The Jewish Federation provides resources for communal security in order to identify and proactively address potential safety threats in our region, and to engage everyone in the effort to be trained and prepared.

Since our 1901 founding, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia has centralized resources to provide an infrastructure of support for Jewish people and organizations in need. Today, with a rise in extremism, terrorism and violence — often targeting Jewish institutions like synagogues, JCCs, camps, day schools and Jewish Federations — that supportive infrastructure has evolved to include tools that help create a safe environment for our communities.

Our strategy is one of security awareness, information sharing, training, close communication with local law enforcement, and partnerships with national organizations charged with keeping Jewish communities and other institutions safe.

Connecting to a Strong National Network

The Secure Community Network (SCN) is the first national nonprofit organization dedicated to homeland security specifically on behalf of the American Jewish community. An initiative of the Jewish Federations of North American and the Conference of Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations, SCN has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a national model for information sharing and preventative security.

SCN connects Jewish communities across the U.S. to local, state and federal law enforcement — helping us develop channels of communication — as well as connects Jewish Federations to one another for fast and reliable information sharing. In times of calm, SCN’s security professionals help us review our security infrastructure, protocols and preparedness and make recommendations for enhancements. In the event of a crisis, SCN sends consultants to help communities prepare for, resolve, or recover from an unfortunate situation.

Real-Time Emergency Alerts

In the event of a true security emergency, we use a notification system called MIR3 to relay crucial information to our communities at the touch of a button. Our alerts go out instantly via text, email and phone to agencies across the Jewish Federation’s five campuses, partner organizations, synagogues and other Jewish institutions and community organizations with necessary and up-to-date information. Among its features, this mass-notification system can allow users to instantly reply to our crisis management team, including marking themselves “safe.”

Director of Security

The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Director of Security assists with security initiatives throughout the five-county region and acts as an advisor to community agencies, day schools and synagogues. He also serves as lead liaison with all local, state and federal law enforcement and as the main point of contact in the event of an incident.

Security Upgrades

The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia maintains five campuses across the Greater Philadelphia region (Jewish Community Services Building [JCSB], Saligman Campus, Mandell Education Campus, Schwartz Campus, and Feinstein Campus), used daily by countless employees, donors, guests, families, students and patrons. We are committed to making improvements on all five campuses to ensure we are providing a safe and secure environment.

Our first location for implementing newly formalized security procedures has been our central hub of operations, The Jewish Community Services Building, which houses 18 Jewish agencies, approximately 350 employees, and serves more than 10,000 visitors a year, including hosting over 200 large events annually. Increased security measures include a stringent visitor/guest access procedure, updated access card protocol and employee ID badge requirements, and access card readers to create a secure space on the 8th floor.

Find Out More

For questions about communal security, contact friehl@jewishphilly.org or 215.832.0579.