In advance of the Jewish High Holidays, Acting Union County Sheriff Joseph Cryan urges members of the Jewish community, cultural institutions and synagogues across the county to take stock of the security measures.
There are no specific threats ahead of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur but security precautions are necessary.
“Now is a vital time to confirm that security measures are in place, to ensure the safety of congregants throughout the season and year-round,” Acting Sheriff Cryan said. “Always think security and stay vigilant.”
The Jewish community’s heightened visibility during this time is often tempting to perpetrators of anti-Semitic vandalism and harassment. Current crisis around the globe also increase the possible threat.
“After the recent conflict in Gaza and with the current dangerous situation with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a greater threat looms,” he added. “Islamic State terrorists recently released a video as a threat against America.”
“We always need to be conscious of the security needs of the Jewish community,” said the Acting Sheriff. “This is especially true around the High Holidays.”
Good security is about more than cameras, locks or fences. People need to be aware of their surroundings and what is going on around them. Solid security is also about good planning and building relationships with your local law enforcement agencies.
The Anti-Defamation League recommends security practices for the High Holidays for synagogues and Jewish communal institutions that include:
· Advise local law enforcement of High Holy Day schedules and special events.
· Ensure that ushers understand their critical role in security matters, and that they are familiar with suspicious activity indicators.
· Establish procedures for controlling access to community facilities.
· Encourage staff, leadership, and constituents to trust their instincts if they come across someone or something suspicious.
· Review event publicity in light of security.
All law enforcement and community leaders should be aware of High Holy Day schedules and special events. This year Rosh Hashanah is September 25-26. Yom Kippur is October 4.