September 15, 2023 | 29 Elul 5783
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Shana tova u’metukah from all of us at Jewish Federation! With Rosh Hashanah and Shabbat almost upon us, we want to take this opportunity to wish you a sweet New Year and to turn this space over to Jason Murray, chair of our Community Security Advisory Committee for an update on their work.
As summer ends and we prepare to gather again for Rosh Hashanah, it is a perfect time to return to one of our Federation's strategic objectives: community security.
Our Federation established the Community Security Advisory Committee to assess the risks facing community institutions and propose strategies for a comprehensive approach to security and safety meant to serve our community over the long term.
The committee works to support our Federation and director of security, Daniel Heydenrych-Davis, on issues like institutional and event security, emergency planning, communication, education, and cybersecurity.
New Web Presence
With a view to improving communication and educating our community on security matters, we have started to update and elevate the security information, advice, and resources on the Federation website, and will be establishing a new security program webpage to offer information and resources on security-focused training opportunities, policies and procedures, grants, and audits. The new page will also include important information on when and how to file security incident reports.
Keep an eye open over the coming months for similar upgrades to the trusted resources compiled and offered by our Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Information Protection (SCsIP).
Partnership with Secure Community Network
Our security program aims to offer opportunities for community leaders, front office staff, and community volunteers to participate in regular training sessions to prepare them to manage security risks and incidents.
Over the summer months, and through our new partnership with Secure Community Network (SCN), our Federation has already offered community partners a series of training seminars focused on synagogue security, safely hosting High Holiday services, emergency preparedness, situational awareness, and countering active threats.
Stop the Bleed® Program
Our Federation has started to offer partner agencies training and resources initiated by the American College of Surgeons’ Stop the Bleed® program. This program is part of a national awareness campaign and a provincial call to action that aims to train citizens to help save lives before first responders can arrive, by learning basic actions to stop life-threatening bleeding following everyday emergencies and man-made and natural disasters.
Our Federation has made Stop the Bleed® kits available for partner agencies, with each kit containing all the items one would need to stop a person from fatally bleeding.
New Security Grants
We are once again able to provide security grants to help agencies upgrade their existing security measures. Applications opened over the summer for these grants meant to align with recommendations contained within the Threat, Vulnerability, and Risk Assessments (TVRAs) that our Federation's director of security conducts when invited by partner agencies.
Applications for these new security grants close on October 13, 2023.
Looking to 5784
When we gathered last Sunday at the Annual Campaign opening, and soon when we assemble in our synagogues for the High Holidays, I again invite you to take note of upgraded security infrastructure, engaged security professionals, and trained community volunteers. These, together with the new security program webpage we are preparing to launch, are some of the most significant examples of the security investments our Federation and its partners have made over the past year.
Finally, please know that our committee’s and subcommittee’s important work is possible only through the dedication of its volunteers, professionalism of Federation staff, and generosity of our Federation’s donors, all of whom work to ensure that we soon enter 5784 with a renewed sense of security. Generous support from the Ronald S. Roadburg Foundation has been particularly instrumental in funding our new security grants and Stop the Bleed® kits.
May 5784 be a year of blessings, peace, good health, and safety.
Ketivah v’chatima tovah and Shabbat shalom.
Chair, Community Security Advisory Committee
Ezra S. Shanken
CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver