March 17, 2017-19 Adar 5777
"Make a fence around your roof, so that you won't bring bloodshed upon your house if someone falls." Deuteronomy 22:8.
Safety is a fundamental human desire. We spend a lot of time, energy, and money seeking to ensure that we and our loved ones may live with a sense of peace and security.But safety is a Torah promise.
When God established God's covenant with the people of Israel, we were promised safety. If we would live life as God directed, we would have no reason to be afraid.Everyone deserves to be physically, emotionally and spiritually safe at all times.
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.
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 Providence Police, with whom we have a close relationship. I have attended meetings and met with them to discuss the spate of bomb threats. Ellis Waldman and I attended an interfaith meeting on security led by the Providence Attorney General's Office and Police Department. We are thankful that all our sources find the current threats "not credible." Nevertheless, we have trained to respond if needed.
Our teachers and administrative and maintenance staff know lock-down procedures, and we will run practice drills in the future. During the day and weeknights, access to the building is restricted and the doors are locked. Our services are open to the public, but we reserve the right to restrict access if security deems it necessary.
During religious school, we have hired a police detail for the remainder of this current school year. You too can help. Law enforcement professionals all emphasize a phrase that seems cliché but is fundamental: "If you see something, say something." Call 911, if you see anything suspicious.
Our proactive measures, training and continuous communication with security officials and the Providence Police Department have 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 me.