A Review of our Ongoing Security Work
Jeffrey Katz, Executive Director

Rodeph Shalom focuses on finding the balance between a safe environment and a welcoming presence. With the recent hostage-taking incident in Texas, we want to review our practices with our congregation.

To that end, there has been clergy and staff training including active shooter preparation and what to do in that type of situation. With the passage of time and new staff, we are planning additional training. The importance of this is clear. As Rabbi Cytron-Walker said, the sessions taught, “If you get in this situation, you have to do whatever you can. It gave me the courage and the sensibility to act when we were able.”

There are additional elements to our security preparation. We have upgraded important elements of our infrastructure. The installation of an enhanced camera system, providing improved site coverage and improved image quality, is complete. We have an automated emergency notification system providing alerts to police and staff. Improvements poised for installation in the coming weeks include bollards to prevent vehicles from being used as weapons, improved playground security, and an elevator access control system.

We are fortunate to have skilled security staff including Philadelphia Police Department presence. Our actions and planning have been informed by expert security consultants with law enforcement and business process expertise. Members of our congregation with security background participate in a security task force that guides our activities.

Our work is ongoing. Please understand the importance of keeping our doors locked during business hours. Thank you for your willingness to check in when you enter, and importantly, “if you see something, say something.” We are grateful for your engagement with us, helping to ensure our safety.