We wish that it was not necessary to implement security procedures, especially since we place such a high priority at Congregation Beth Israel on creating an open, welcoming and nonjudgmental atmosphere. Nonetheless, as current news headlines sadly attest, religious institutions need to take appropriate steps to keep those who attend their gatherings, especially those of considerable size and prominence, secure and safe. As world events change we may need to modify this policy. We will continue to keep you updated.
Based on recommendations from the ADL and law enforcement, we have maintained heightened security for this year. While we are currently aware of no specific threats, we will be implementing the following policies to keep our community more secure this High Holy Day season.
• Everyone’s safety is our collective responsibility. We all must work together to keep our community safe. You can help by complying with this policy so that the staff, ushers, and law enforcement officers can stay focused on keeping everyone safe. If you see anything unusual, please quickly but quietly alert an usher. The ushers have been briefed on safety procedures and have access to trained professionals to assist with any security concerns.
• We would prefer it if everyone left all bags and purses at home. This will help us avoid lines while entering the Sanctuary and Smith Auditorium. If you must bring a bag or purse, we ask that such bags/purses be kept to the smallest size possible. Backpacks, large purses, and large bags, except diaper bags, will not be allowed. You will be asked to return them to the trunk of your vehicle. Bags meeting the requirements will be allowed in the Sanctuary and Smith Auditorium. All bags, regardless of size, will be opened and searched.
• We also must make you aware that depending on the security needs, we may be using metal detectors at the entrances to the temple. Please leave anything that could be considered a weapon at home.
• Tickets are mandatory at all services. If you leave your ticket at home, you will be asked to check in at will-call in the Koen foyer. There, you will be required to show photo ID to receive a replacement ticket.
• Access to the Sanctuary and Smith Auditorium will be limited to the front entrances only. Please do not open side entrances for anyone without notifying an usher for assistance.
• Only parents of children utilizing babysitting will be allowed to enter through the Child Development Center outside doors. The doors between the learning center and administrative offices will be locked.
We especially request the patience and forbearance of our long-time Congregational members who are well known in our community. We cannot selectively enforce security procedures. That practice would be deemed discriminatory and impede the purpose of the measures we regretfully must put in place. The ushers can direct you to our Executive Director with any issues, concerns or complaints. These security measures are for everyone’s safety and we greatly appreciate those who comply with them. We realize these procedures may be a burden and a nuisance. However, we have them in place so that our community can not only stay safe, but so that everyone will feel secure while worshiping within our walls.