Important information, resources, and action steps.
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CJP Communal Security Initiative
Dear friends and colleagues,

Recent actions in our nation’s capital are deeply troubling. As a community, we will continue to receive alerts and notifications from different federal and state agencies summarizing what happened in Washington, D.C., and what might take place at state capitols and elsewhere.

Many of you contacted CJP’s Communal Security Initiative and JEMS for information about what the potential impact in New England may be and for guidance on what actions you should take, which we have outlined below.

Threat Information

At this time, we do not possess any specific, credible, information about an imminent threat to the Jewish community (or interfaith religious community) in New England. We are in regular contact with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, including the Boston Police Department and Regional Intelligence Center, the Massachusetts State Police Fusion Center, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), FBI Boston, other local police departments, and national Jewish organizations focused on threats and security-related issues.

However, politics and social media have increased antisemitic tensions — which could fuel an incident where there is little or no advance warning. For this reason, we urge you to continue working to improve safety and security at your institution, continue to monitor local gatherings and political protests, and review the potential impact on your institution.

Political protests are expected at the Massachusetts State House and Boston Common area on Sunday, January 17, and Wednesday, January 20. While the focus may be political, antisemitic actors may participate in protests throughout the week. Increased antisemitic social media posts, cyber harassment, and cyber attacks may take place as well.

Immediate Action

There are many actions that you and your organization can take to develop layered security, to mitigate threats, and to proactively manage safety and security, such as:
  • Ensure that all building alarm systems, duress/panic buttons, cameras, external lights, and door and window locks are utilized and functioning as designed
  • Reinforce that in an emergency, everyone is empowered to dial 911. Remind staff members and congregants to dial 911 when faced with any dangerous or potentially dangerous situation, and to report anything concerning or odd to the appropriate organizational leader.
  • Document and report to police any suspicious people, incidents, or online threats. Afterwards, report antisemitic incidents to ADL.
  • Update contact lists and communications plans, and communicate plans with staff and membership for building usage and safety
  • Review and update your existing Emergency Operating Procedures and ensure that they are reviewed by your police department
  • Start work on your 2021 Federal and Commonwealth Nonprofit Security Grant applications
  • Contact your police department:
    • Check in to ensure that you, the dispatcher, and the officers that you know have updated contact information for you and your institutional leadership
    • Ask for specific advice or recommendations for safety and security at your institution — particularly focusing on this month of January
    • Request enhanced patrols during January. Request that patrol officers stop by your institution and work in their cars nearby. Ensure staff are aware and welcoming and that congregants or parents are not alarmed by an enhanced police presence.
    • Advise the department about scheduled activities at your facility — how and when the building is in use
    • Work with CJP’s Communal Security Initiative, your police department, and emergency services on training, preparedness, and fostering a culture of caring and security awareness
  • Sign up for CSI and JEMS notifications and encourage other members of your community to do so as well

Resources: Security Training & Funding

You are not alone.

CJP’s Communal Security Initiative (CSI) is committed to partnering with you to address long-term security challenges. During 2020, CSI conducted security awareness and safety trainings for over 1500 community members at nearly 100 institutions, including over 60 Board/Leadership Security webinars, 13 in-person trainings pre-COVID-19, and six webinars on different topics such as: Cyber Concerns During the Time of Covid, De-Escalation Techniques, and Psychological Support During Times of Crisis.

Last year, CJP also offered nearly $1 million in security grants to Jewish institutions in Greater Boston, and we partnered with organizations who successfully applied for — and were granted — nearly $2.25 million in Federal and Commonwealth security grants.

CSI will continue to support the community throughout 2021 with training, webinars, and grant support which will be updated on the CSI website.

Upcoming webinars:

Ongoing Threat Environment, Impacts, and Security Considerations

Friday, January 15 | 1:30–2:30 p.m. ET

ADL, SCN, and JFNA will discuss the challenges facing the Jewish community, the ongoing threat environment, and security recommendations in light of the current environment.

Cybersecurity and You — Be the First Line of Defense

Virtual event
Two date options:
     Friday, January 29 | 1:00–2:00 p.m. ET
     Thursday, February 11 | 4:00–5:00 p.m. ET

This cyber-awareness webinar will cover top cyber threats such as phishing, desktop security, and data protection, as well as a review of proven practices. During this session, CSI will introduce an online cybersecurity awareness training program to provide you with the skills to thwart cyberattacks and better protect your organization’s data. CSI will fund this self-paced cyber training program for you and your staff. This webinar is designed for all staff and lay leaders of your organization.

We are challenged by these difficult times for our nation and our community, but we are in this together. Please contact us regarding institutional safety and security issues.

Thank you,

Ashley, Dan, Nora, and Jeremy
The Communal Security Initiative Team

About the CJP Communal Security Initiative
CJP’s Communal Security Initiative (CSI) supports a thriving Jewish Community by providing (no-cost) security services to approximately 200 institutions in the Greater Boston area. CSI provides training, security consultations, assessments, and grants to eligible institutions in the cities and towns that CJP serves. MORE

About JEMS
Since 2006, CJP has managed the Jewish Emergency Management System (JEMS), a partnership with the Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Community Relations Council, and the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts. As part of the CJP Communal Security Initiative, we offer JEMS security alerts for professionals and lay leaders. MORE

If you have questions or need additional information, please email the Communal Security Initiative team.

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CJP Communal Security Initiative
Kraft Family Building | 126 High Street, Boston, MA 02110-2700