To: The Young Israel Community
From: Jeffrey Belkin
Re: Shul Security
The tragic and horrific events yesterday in Pittsburgh call for several responses.
First of all, we should share in the grief and sorrow of the families of the victims as well as the members of the shul and those immediately affected by the tragedy, keeping them in our thoughts and prayers. Second, we should regard the event as touching all of k’lal Yisrael because, as they say, we are are in this together. Third, it is appropriate to regard the event as a call to action in which, at the very least, we do everything we can to protect our families and ourselves when we come to shul.
In connection with shul protection, there is an immediate need to provide active police presence on Shabbos, as well as to activate our shomrim. We have been reviewing our security situation over the last several weeks. Executive Board member Alyssa Levi has submitted a report recommending professional armed security to be present at the shul entrance along with our shomrim. The report also recommends enactment of a financial assessment (amount to be determined) of the membership to pay for such protection. The Levi report was due for consideration at the next Executive Board meeting, but yesterday’s event requires that we accelerate the process.
To that end I am scheduling an emergency meeting of the Executive Board tomorrow, Monday, October 29, at 5:pm, and an open meeting of all shul members (of both branches) at 8:00 pm in the main shul. Please make every effort to attend.
The entire leadership of the shul is dedicated to protecting the safety and security of our members and their families, and all those who use our facilities.
I look forward to seeing you at 8:00pm tomorrow.