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ADL New York / New Jersey Urges Jewish Institutions to ‘Think Security’ During Jewish High Holidays

  • September 4, 2018

New York, NY, September 4, 2018 … In advance of the Jewish High Holidays, ADL New York / New Jersey is reaching out to synagogues and Jewish community institutions across the region to provide information on security preparedness and to remind them to make security an everyday priority.

ADL has shared a list of security best practices and encouraged institutions to reach out to local law enforcement to discuss security and advise them of High Holiday schedules and events. The Jewish High Holidays begin at sundown on Sunday, September 9, and Rosh Hashanah is observed on Sept. 10 and 11; Yom Kippur is observed from sundown on Tuesday, Sept. 18 to sundown on Wednesday, Sept. 19.

“It’s important that Jewish institutions take the time now to ensure that security plans and protocols are in place before the High Holidays are upon us,” said Evan Bernstein, Regional Director, ADL New York / New Jersey. “With the anticipated increase in attendance to services and events during the holidays, we hope that the necessary precautions are taken so that all congregants feel safe to worship and celebrate.”

In recent weeks, representatives from ADL New York / New Jersey have attended security briefings held in coordination with local police departments for synagogues and Jewish communal organizations in the region.

ADL is a longtime leader in providing security awareness and in-person training and online resources to community institutions. ADL’s Community Security resource page and community security manual, “Protecting Your Jewish Institution: Security Strategies for Today’s Dangerous World” are available for free download. A number of ADL’s regional offices have held or are planning security briefings for local institutions, a routine practice for the organization at this time of year.

ADL has sent a list of security recommendations for the High Holidays to synagogues and other Jewish communal institutions. Among the recommendations:

  • Connect with local law enforcement to discuss security and advise them of holiday schedules and events.
  • Ensure that ushers understand that they play a critical role in security matters, as they are often used to control access to the sanctuary and are in a position to spot trouble early.
  • Establish procedures for controlling access to houses of worship, and keeping access to a facility restricted to as few entry points as possible so that all people accessing the facility are greeted and observed.
  • Ensure that existing safety devices are in good working condition.
  • Ensure that staff, leadership and constituents know their role in security and what to do in the event of an emergency.

While we are not aware of any specific, credible threat to Jewish institutions at this time, an uptick of activities this year associated with far-right extremist and other hate groups have been reported, including white supremacist leafleting, banners on highway overpasses, and public rallies. Last year, ADL tracked a 60 percent surge in anti-Semitic incidents against individuals as well as public and private communal institutions across the United States.


ADL is a leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education and fighting hate online, ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate. More at