Over 150 rabbis, yeshiva principals, educators and shul representatives from all segments of the Flatbush community, attended the Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition (FJCC) security workshop given by the NYPD Counter Terrorism unit and the NY State Department of Homeland Security. The seminar was held in response to the alarming rise in terror across the globe and community requests for tangible ideas and training to help secure communal institutions.
The ninety minute security seminar was hosted by Chaim Berlin Elementary School with the participation of coordinators and members of Flatbush Hatzoloh and Flatbush Shomrim. The goal was to offer practical advice to communal decision makers on how to better secure their facilities from a potential incident.
The NYPD provided training on how to prevent and handle an active shooter in a public facility. The NY State Homeland Security presentation provide participants with the latest advice for keeping the community safe.
A program to station armed off duty Police Officers at shuls and yeshivas called ‘Paid Detail’ was discussed, with many mosdos expressing strong interest.
The feedback from attendees was very positive. Mr. Asher Lang of Agudas Yisroel Snif Zichron Shmuel commented “great meeting with a lot of detail discussed.” One prominent Yeshiva administrator echoed those sentiments saying, “we have multiple locations in the community, thanks to the FJCC for the great presentation you organized today. We definitely got a lot of ideas and information out of the speakers.” Rabbi Raphael, Bernstein, Principal of Yeshiva Ohr Yisroel, thanked the FJCC for organizing the important event. Joe Dweck, NYPD Liaison to the Sephardic Community, stated “Thanks for the meeting; everyone found it to be a valuable start. Although there are no known threats at this time, we all must do everything we can to ensure the safety of the children, workers and congregants in our care. We all have to wake up and do better together.”
A senior member of law enforcement commented on the fact that so many communal representatives took the time to educate themselves about security issues showing the reality of the times we live in, as well as their great care and concern for the students and community with which they serve. The Police offered to conduct individual security assessments of the communities’ facilities. Another suggestion was made to enclose play yards from public view.
“Last weeks terror attack in a Paris Kosher Supermarket as well as the tragic assault on a Har Nof Shul last month and other disturbing events have caused grave concern in Jewish communities worldwide,” said Josh Mehlman, FJCC Chairman and Rafi Treitel, NYPD Liaison. “It is important that those responsible for the safety of our schools and Shuls become more proficient in how to best prevent attacks and how to handle worst case scenarios.” Rabbi Shmuel Aharon Rosenshein, Executive Director of Yeshiva Tiferes Yisroel stated “While any & all precautions are prudent & should be explored & implemented; government funding for security guards would be a very significant contributor in deterring potentially compromising situations.”
“The FJCC plans expanded safety programs for Flatbush communal institutions and will continue working with our partners in law enforcement and government to bring timely and relevant information to the community.” said Yehuda Cohen, a key FJCC coordinator of the seminar.