In advance of the Jewish High Holidays, which begin on September 13 this year, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is providing Jewish institutions across the country with a newly updated security manual, as well as other resources and training to help them with their security preparedness.

The new 2015 edition of ADL’s security manual – Protecting Your Jewish Institution – provides information on important topics including: security planning; physical security and operations; relationships with emergency personnel; guide to detecting surveillance; computer and data security; explosive threat response planning; active shooters; considerations for schools and summer camps; dealing with protesters and crisis management.

“Unfortunately, in 2015, Jewish institutions across the country still remain a potential target, which is why synagogues and Jewish communal facilities need to always be vigilant,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL National Director. “Jews should feel comfortable going about their daily lives and observing the holidays, while still being aware and making security a priority.”

The manual was first published in 2003 and has become the premier guide used by Jewish institutions. It provides recommendations to safeguard institutions year-round, as well as to enhance response to threats and crises. Through its network of 27 regional offices across the country, ADL is providing security awareness trainings and sharing resources in advance of the High Holidays and has reached out to law enforcement to notify them of significant dates and heightened security concerns during this period.

ADL’s “best practices” for synagogues and Jewish institutions during the High Holidays include:

Connect with local law enforcement to discuss security and advise them of High Holiday schedules and special events.
Ensure that ushers understand that they play a critical role in security matters, and that they are familiar with suspicious activity indicators.
Establish procedures for controlling access into facilities.
Encourage staff, leadership, and constituents to trust their instincts if they come across someone or something suspicious.

ADL’s security manual and other resources are available online.