News reports notwithstanding, “There is no indication that there are any specific and/or imminent threats to Jewish communities in the U.S. at this time as a result of recent events,” according to an alert received this week by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey. Nevertheless, the alert said, that could change “should military action break out in the Middle East in coming months.”
An open attack on Iran is only one “trigger” that could raise the threat level, the alert said. “Increased pressure from sanctions, continued perceived threats from Israel, the United States, and others, sabotage against nuclear facilities, and continued alleged assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists” could also bring about an Iranian response aimed at Jewish or Israeli targets in the West, especially the United States.
The alert was sent to the JCRC and Jewish organizations nationwide by the Secure Community Network (SCN), which describes itself “as the central address for the Jewish community concerning matters of communal safety, security, and all-hazards preparedness and response.” SCN is made up of the member organizations of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Jewish Federations of North America, among other communal institutions.
The alert set out a number of suggestions for Jewish organizations to follow. “Simply put,” the SCN alert said, “a baseline of security should be established which can be built upon in the event [of] a change in threat level or security conditions….”
Among the suggestions:
“Be aware of your surroundings and remain alert for suspicious persons or activity.
“Trust your instincts and err on the side of caution; report suspicious persons/activity immediately….
“Convene [a] Security Committee or Crisis Management Team to review [your] current security program, policies, and procedures….
“Review and implement appropriate security measures with a specific focus on access control, perimeter security, suspicious behavior/activity, [and] crisis communication plans….
“Monitor and control who is entering the facility….Visitors should be escorted at all times….
“Do not provide specific facility, organization, or staff information to suspicious or unknown [telephone] callers….
“Record and/or document suspicious, or threatening phone calls….
“Do not accept a package from an unknown individual….
“Review your organizational website for personal or sensitive facility information….
“Familiarize yourself with the building evacuation policy and procedures….”
For more information and additional resources, synagogues, schools, and other communal institutions are urged to visit the organization’s website, www.scnus.org. SCN’s telephone number is (212) 284-6940.