Wednesday, December 28, 2011

White supremacist may pose a threat

UPDATE: December 29. Danny Warner was arrested by local police in Lake Havasu, Arizona without incident. He is being charged with being a convicted felon in possession of ammunition, and there are additional charges expected.

A known White supremacist might pose a security threat to Jews or Jewish institutions, probably in the South. He is considered armed and dangerous.

While the available information indicates that he intends to head to the South, it is worthwhile to review your security procedures, especially those dealing with access control and hostile surveillance. See the JCRC resources available at

The ADL bulletin below has some excellent suggestions in their alert.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Traveling with Personal Internet-Enabled Devices

National Cyber Alert System
Cyber Security Tip ST11-001

Holiday Traveling with Personal Internet-Enabled Devices

The internet is at our fingertips with the widespread use of internet-enabled devices such as smart phones and tablets. When traveling and shopping anytime, and especially during the holidays, consider the wireless network you are using when you complete transactions on your internet-enabled device.

Know the risks

Your smart phone, tablet, or other internet-enabled device is a full-fledged computer. It is susceptible to risks inherent in online transactions. When shopping, banking, or sharing personal information online, take the same precautions with your smart phone or other internet-enabled device that you do with your personal computer — and then some. The mobile nature of these devices means that you should also take precautions for the physical security of your device (see Protecting Portable Devices: Physical Security for more information) and consider the way you are accessing the internet.

Do not use public Wi-Fi networks

Avoid using open Wi-Fi networks to conduct personal business, bank, or shop online. Open Wi-Fi networks at places such as airports, coffee shops, and other public locations present an opportunity for attackers to intercept sensitive information that you would provide to complete an online transaction.
If you simply must check your bank balance or make an online purchase while you are traveling, turn off your device's Wi-Fi connection and use your mobile device's cellular data internet connection instead of making the transaction over an unsecure Wi-Fi network.

Turn off Bluetooth when not in use

Bluetooth-enabled accessories can be helpful, such as earpieces for hands-free talking and external keyboards for ease of typing. When these devices are not in use, turn off the Bluetooth setting on your phone. Cyber criminals have the capability to pair with your phone's open Bluetooth connection when you are not using it and steal personal information.

Be cautious when charging

Avoid connecting your mobile device to any computer or charging station that you do not control, such as a charging station at an airport terminal or a shared computer at a library. Connecting a mobile device to a computer using a USB cable can allow software running on that computer to interact with the phone in ways that a user may not anticipate. As a result, a malicious computer could gain access to your sensitive data or install new software. Don't Fall Victim to Phishing Scams If you are in the shopping mode, an email that appears to be from a legitimate retailer might be difficult to resist. If the deal looks too good to be true, or the link in the email or attachment to the text seems suspicious, do not click on it!

What to do if your accounts are compromised

If you notice that one of your online accounts has been hacked, call the bank, store, or credit card company that owns your account. Reporting fraud in a timely manner helps minimize the impact and lessens your personal liability. You should also change your account passwords for any online services associated with your mobile device using a different computer that you control. If you are the victim of identity theft, additional information is available from
For even more information about keeping your devices safe, read Cybersecurity for Electronic Devices.
Produced in 2011 by US-CERT, a government organization. US-CERT is part of the Department of Homeland SecurityTerms of use

Friday, December 9, 2011

Another parcel bomb in Europe

The reports of a second parcel bomb in Europe raises obvious concerns. Organizations should be reviewing their mail handling procedures. See the links on the previous blog posting or at the JCRC Security Resources page.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Explosive Device Sent to Bank CEO

The NYPD confirmed that a mail (package) explosive device was addressed and sent to CEO, Dr. Joseph Ackermann of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Germany.  The package was detected by x-ray technology inside the mail room.  The package did not detonate.  

An investigation is ongoing.We suggest that you review our previous posts:Rethinking mail screening and More tips for package screening. You can also download Guidelines for Suspicious Mail or Packages, Informational Bulletin on Suspicious Envelopes and Suspicious Package indicators.

The NYPD SHIELD unit advises that all mail room employees become aware of this information and pay special attention to incoming deliveries.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Safety and Survival in Protests & Civil Unrest:

Since the political protests, now known as the "Arab Spring" grabbed headlines around the world, XBRM has been increasingly called upon by business leaders and public officials to provide insight into human behavior in group, crowd and mob situations, and help develop effective strategies to reduce the risks and address safety concerns associated with protests and acts of civil unrest. As the "American Autumn" has become defined by the various "Occupy" movements in cities across the country, these largely peaceful protests have been punctuated by increasingly aggressive behavior, and in one instance in Oakland, a violent death.

See the guidance from XBRM here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hate crime reports released

2010 FBI Report Released/ADL studies

Intimidation…vandalism…assault…rape…murder. These are crimes by anyone’s definition. But add an element of bias against the victims—because of their race or religion, for example—and these traditional crimes become hate crimes. And based on data from the FBI’s  Hate Crime Statistics report for 2010, the 6,628 hate crime incidents reported to us by our law enforcement partners stayed consistent with the 6,604 incidents reported in 2009.

The ADL Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents cataloged 1,239 examples of assaults, vandalism and harrassment in 2010. Its 2011 Survey of American Attitudes Toward Jews in America found that anti-Semitic attitudes are rising in the US.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Shocking arson in Flatbush

Statement of
Michael S. Miller
Executive Vice President and CEO

We were shocked to learn of the horrific arson of cars -- with accompanying anti-Semitic messages -- on Ocean Parkway in Flatbush. We are gratified that the precinct and the Hate Crimes Task Force are investigating and are confident that the NYPD will follow the evidence wherever it leads.

The track record of the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force was further enhanced today as they arrested a suspect accused of defacing two Queens libraries, a synagogue and a church. We congratulate them on their success. Anyone contemplating a hate crime in New York City should think twice when the Hate Crimes Task Force is on the case.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Airport x-rays, new technology

The JCRC was invited by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) to join a group of religious leaders to critique the implementation of the airport passenger screening process. Leaders of many faiths expressed concerns regarding modesty and safety. Today, TSA officials reached out to us to update us on pertinent developments.See the TSA "readout" here.

The TSA is in the process of introducing new Advanced Imaging Technology which will substantially address the questions of modesty. Any potential threat items that are detected are detected by an automated system and indicated on a generic outline of a person (rather than the passenger's body). If no potential threat items are detected, an "OK" appears on the monitor with no outline.(See the illustrations below.)

Click here to can get more information on the new system. Deployment of the new technology is not yet scheduled for the major NYC area (see the current list here), but the TSA plans to eventually  install it everywhere.

The backscatter technology used in the system  was evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). All reported that it is safe and meets national health and safety standards. Click here to read more and download the evaluations.

They also informed us of new Risk-Based Security and Pre-Check pilot programs which will allow passengers to voluntarily provide more information about themselves, so that the TSA can better segment the population in terms of risk and provide expedited screening for "trusted travelers". See more information here.

On Nov. 9th remember: it's only a test

FEMA wants everyone to know about the upcoming, nationwide Emergency Alert System (EAS) test on Wednesday, November 9th at 2PM.All broadcast stations are scheduled to participate. Although the EAS is frequently used by State and local governments to send weather alerts and other emergency information, there has never been a national activation of the system. The purpose of the November 9, 2011 test is to assess the readiness and effectiveness of the current system.

Click here for more information from FEMA. Please share this message with your communities and through your social networks.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sukkoth+wind swept heavy rains=flying debris

The National Weather Service predicts 1-1.5 inches of rain will fall today with winds from 15-20 mph, accompanied by gusts to 30 mph along the coast. Stronger wind is expected Thursday as the system exits the area.

The New York City Office of Emergency Management notes that there is a risk that Sukkoth may be compromised.  Individuals and organizations to take the needed steps to secure outdoor objects, including Sukkoth that could blow away and cause damage or injury.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Less than a month left to apply/register for FEMA assistance

FEMA and NY State offer various grants and loans for victims of Irene. Damages and repairs not covered by insurance may be eligible for grants or loans through FEMA. If your insurance carrier has denied your claim or the settlement does not adequately cover your costs, we advise you to register before October 31st. If you are not registered by that date FEMA won't be able to help.

Individuals, homeowners, renters and small businesses. To learn about the process, including links and phone numbers, click on the link to read the JCRC overview and instructions for individuals, homeowners, renters and small businesses here. Applicants must register by October 31st.

Not-for-profits. Not-for profits may access SBA loans, but there is a separate program for certain not-for-profit organizations with an October 28th deadline. Click on this link to view the JCRC not-for-profit overview and instructions.

Q&A. A new resource, Commonly Asked Questions About Disaster Aid, was just published by FEMA. See it here.

Disaster Recovery Centers, Online and phone contacts. As time passes, FEMA is closing Disaster Recovery Centers. Check online for the latest list of open centers and their hours here. You can also register online at or by calling 1-800-621-3362.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Assistance for Irene's damage

In the wake of Hurricane Irene, individual assistance is available for homeowners, renters and small businesses in Bronx, Kings, Queens and Richmond counties.  In addition, public assistance is available for NYC agencies and eligible Private Not for Profits (PNPs) that sustained damage or have response/recovery costs associated with Hurricane Irene (DR 4020) in all 5 boroughs.

Residents and small businesses in a total of 27 counties are now eligible to apply for the following assistance: the Individuals and Households Program, Crisis Counseling, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, USDA food coupons and distribution, USDA food commodities, Disaster Legal Services, the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Small Business Administration disaster loans.

The counties currently eligible for individual assistance (assistance to individuals and households) are as follows: Albany, Bronx, Columbia, Clinton, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Kings, Montgomery, Nassau, Orange, Otsego, Putnam, Queens, Rensselaer, Richmond, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster, Warren, Washington and Westchester counties.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-3362. Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

Public Assistance

On August 31, 2011, New York City received a Major Disaster Declaration for Hurricane Irene (DR 4020).  All five NYC counties were included in the declaration.  The next step will be an Applicant’s Briefing for all NYC agencies and eligible Private Not for Profits (PNPs) that sustained damage or have response/recovery costs associated with the event. In the past, yeshivot, day schools, hospitals and other quasi-governmental organizations were eligible.

The Applicant Briefings for New York City will take place on:

Friday September 16th, 2011

NYC Office of Emergency Management
165 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn

There will be two sessions
10:00am – 12:00pm
1:00pm – 3:00pm

The briefing will go over eligibility for applicants, facilities, types of work and costs. 

A representative from each agency should attend one of the briefings

To RSVP, email Mariel Diaz ( with the name (and session time) of each individual who will be attending

Following is a link to the form: “Request for Public Assistance”: If possible please fill in the point of contact info and bring to the Applicant Briefing (each city agency will be an individual “applicant.”)  While applicants have 30 days to submit this form, FEMA would like to collect as many as possible up front.

After the Applicant Briefing, FEMA will contact each applicant to schedule a Kickoff Meeting.  This meeting is where FEMA will begin to work directly with that agency to identify damages and write up project worksheets to cover actual costs.  FEMA gives applicants 60 days from the kickoff meeting to identify all potential costs; however, the more prepared you are to present actual costs with supporting documentation the quicker and easier it will be.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

9/11 Anniversary Threat

For weeks counterterrorism officials have spoken of the possibility of a terrorist incident coinciding with 9/11. Tonight, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, Matt Chandler, called the threat “specific, credible, but unconfirmed.” Another official said American intelligence agencies were urgently pursuing leads overseas in an effort to gauge the seriousness of the threat.

Our sources have speculated about the nature of the threat, but there is no information that  Jewish communal institutions will be targeted. However, the overlap of the 9/11 anniversary events with Sabbath services lead us to suggest heightened vigilance throughout the weekend. 

For specific security suggestions:

We lost the part of our video where our presenters were introduced.  Below please find some biographical information for them. 

David Pollock is the associate executive director and Director of Government relations of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC).  Mr. Pollock articulates Jewish communal concerns regarding community relations issues to federal, state and city officials. He is the liaison for the Jewish community with law enforcement officials and active in the development of security, emergency planning and community relations for the Jewish community.
Paul DeMatteis is the Senior Advisor on Corporate Security Programs and the Director of the Vulnerability Assessment Program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice here in New York. Paul has supervised over 300 Terrorism Vulnerability Assessments of Jewish organizations. He is a professional’s professional.
Douglas Andrew Smith is the Assistant Secretary for the Private Sector of the Department of Homeland Security. He is the key advisor to DHS Sec’y Janet Napolitano on how DHS policies affect private companies and the not-for-profit sector. Asst Sec’y Smith is our voice at DHS. We are fortunate to have him. Jarrod Bernstein is traveling with Sec’y Napolitano. Latest round of NSGP grants just released. Thank the Sec’y.
Mordecai Dzikansky retired from the NYPD. He spent five years as the NYPD liaison with the Israel National Police and Security forces, bringing Israeli counterterrorism tactics to NYC. He is the author of “Terrorist Cop” and the co-author of “Terrorist Suicide Bombings: Attack Interdiction, Mitigation, and Response”, which will be released in October.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

President Declares Disaster For New York

As expected, the President agreed to Gov. Cuomo's request and has designated areas in New York to receive disaster aid. The Presidential declaration is in two parts:
  1. Individuals. Those living in Albany, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Schenectady, Schoharie, and Ulster counties can qualify for assistance that can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured or underinsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
  2. Government and some nonprofits. Some nonprofits in Albany, Bronx, Clinton, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Montgomery, Nassau, New York, Queens, Rensselaer, Richmond, Rockland, Schoharie, Suffolk, Ulster, Warren, and Westchester counties can receive partial reimbursement for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by Hurricane Irene.
Please look at the list of counties carefully.If your county is not listed, don't give up hope. Sometimes the disaster declaration is expanded. As we receive more information we'll send it out.

The federal assistance is for the reimbursement of covered and documented expenses. You don't have to wait to begin your repairs, just keep a careful record of your outlays (e.g.,  staff time, contractors, equipment, etc.).

If you think that you, your business or your organization are eligible, begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362).   

See the FEMA release after the jump.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mayor Bloomberg's Press Conference Highlights

  • Because Irene is now bearing down on us at a faster speed, we are issuing a mandatory evacuation order for New Yorkers who live in the low-lying Zone “A” coastal areas in all five boroughs that are at greatest risk of damage related to Irene, including all parts of the Rockaways.
  • City Health Commissioner Tom Farley will be working with senior homes and nursing homes, and the two hospitals in the Zone “B” part of the Rockaways to try to find alternative sites for their residents. 
  • Nevertheless for people who live in private homes, we want you to leave the Rockaways due to its exposure to the ocean and the potential that emergency services may not be provided due to the closing of bridges.
  • People should be out of these areas by 5 pm Saturday. In a storm with wind and very high tides there are risks that endanger public safety. I cannot stress it enough. Please: Nature is a force more powerful than us. Better to be safe and sorry.
  • The low-lying coastal areas that may be endangered by a storm surge include:Coney Island and Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn…. Far Rockaway and Broad Channel in Queens… South Beach, Midland Beach, and other low-lying areas on Staten Island… Battery Park City in Manhattan… and some small sections of the Bronx.
  • We’ve never done a mandatory evacuation before – and we wouldn’t be doing this now if we didn’t think this was serious.
MTA shutdown
  • In addition, MTA service, including subways, buses, and railroads, will begin to shut down at noon tomorrow.
  • Depending on the effect of the storm MTA service may not be restored in time for rush hour Monday morning.
  • As of 4 pm today we are opening 91 emergency facilities. They’re a combination of evacuation centers and emergency shelters. They’re being staffed by City employees, some on a volunteer basis. We have the capacity to expand that system greatly if needed.
  • Yesterday we issued an executive order yesterday afternoon directing all hospitals, nursing homes, and senior homes in our low-lying coastal areas to evacuate their patients today and directed them to complete this process by 8 p.m. 
  • There are five hospitals in this zone. All of them – Coney Island Hospital, both campuses of Staten Island University Hospital, the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Manhattan, and NYU Medical Center on Manhattan’s East Side – are evacuating their patients to other hospitals. 
  • Yesterday’s Executive Order also covered eight nursing homes, one psychiatric facility, and eight adult care facilities. All of them are evacuating as well.
Storm details
  • The National Weather Service has put the entire New York metropolitan area under a hurricane watch – which means that sustained winds of 74 miles per hour or more are forecast – for Saturday evening through Sunday.
  • The current forecast is that Irene will reach the New York metropolitan area as a Category One storm. The ground speed of the storm has accelerated; gale forces winds of 40 miles per hour will reach us by 9 pm Saturday. 
  • We don’t yet know where the full brunt of the storm will be felt. But in any case, Irene is going to hit New York City with very high winds and heavy rains Saturday night and all through Sunday. It’s going to be a very dangerous storm, especially in low-lying areas of the city.

Mandatory evacuations and more

Irene has the potential to be a very serious storm in our area. Mayor Bloomberg has ordered a mandatory evacuation of Evacuation Zone A (including Coney Island and Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn, Far Rockaway and Broad Channel in Queens, South Beach, Midland Beach, and other low-lying areas on Staten Island, and Battery Park City in Manhattan) and all of the Rockaways. Nassau/Suffolk areas south of Sunrise Highway have similar vulnerabilities.

Kudos to the Far Rockaways/Five Towns areas, led by the CERT, Achiezer, the JCC's and Hatzalah. They are doing an AMAZING job. Our prayers are with all who are in the crosshairs of the worst of the storm.

Nassau County Guidance

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Irene is closing in

NYC OEM is working with the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center and report the following for planning purposes only:
  1. Storm track. The storm track is changing and moving west, putting the metropolitan area into the track of Hurricane Irene. They now predict a strong Category I or a weak Category II hurricane, with the eye of the storm achieving landfall along the Queens/Nassau County border (this can change again). Winds of 75-94 mph (with higher gusts) are likely. Forecasters expect a Hurricane Watch to be issued in the next 12-24 hours. If the predictions are correct, there will be 6-12" of rain (on already saturated ground) and a storm surge of 6-12 feet --  this will be the strongest storm to strike NYC since 1893.
  2. Evacuation. New York City has not yet decided whether to order a general evacuation, but the possibility is on the table. If NYC orders an evacuation it will be for evacuation zones A & B. Find your evacuation zone by following these links: NYC, Nassau (including evacuation routes), Suffolk and Westchester.
  3. Zero Hour. Forecasters predict that winds will exceed 39 mph between midnight and 3 AM Sunday morning. When they do, public transportation and emergency services will cease operations (the exact time and protocols are currently being discussed). Trying to evacuate after Zero Hour will be dangerous.
  4. Messaging. The media is getting the word out already. We advise that you use your networks to publicize the information on our blog here and to prepare to "hunker down" with plenty of food, water and supplies or to evacuate, if ordered.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

NY is in Irene's path. Make preparations now

Yesterday's earthquake reinforced the fact that nature is unpredictable. Nonetheless, forecasters predict that Hurricane Irene is likely to impact the NY metropolitan area over the weekend.  Currently, the National Weather Service predicts tropical storm conditions, but that could change. The heavy wind and rains increase the likelihood of flooding, fallen trees, blocked roads and power outages, so weather conditions should be closely monitored.

For more information (including an overview and NY area historic patterns and conditions), view an excellent presentation by I. Ross Dickman, Meteorologist-in-charge, NOAA's National Weather Service, New York, NY office (in Upton).

The JCRC-NY recommends:
  • Be informed. Broadcast and print media are doing a good job, but storms can be unpredictable. Pay attention to the updates. For preparation planning tips, see information from NYC, Nassau (including evacuation routes), Suffolk and Westchester.
  • Do you live in an evacuation zone?   If you do, determine where you will go and how you will get there if there is an evacuation. If you have pets, you should prepare for them as well.
  • Plan and Prepare. 
  • Think about Shabbat.  Forecasters predict a wet Shabbat, but not one with tropical storm conditions. It is still worthwhile to think about special Halakhic considerations for hurricanes. The Orthodox Union issued Shabbat Protocols in Case of a Hurricane, written by Rabbi Kenneth Brander (now of Yeshivah University) with thanks to Rabbi Hershel Schachter for his guidance. While these protocols are an excellent guide to the issues of concern, consult with appropriate rabbinical authorities about specific guidance regarding the expected conditions of the upcoming storm.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The FBI's Child ID App

The FBI's new Child ID app can be downloaded for free from the App Store on iTunes. Download App | View GalleryPodcast: About the Child ID App
You're shopping at the mall with your children when one of them suddenly disappears. A quick search of the nearby area is unsuccessful. What do you do? 

Now there's a free new tool from the FBI that can help. Our just launched Child ID app—the first mobile application created by the FBI—provides a convenient place to electronically store photos and vital information about your children so that it’s literally right at hand if you need it. You can show the pictures and provide physical identifiers such as height and weight to security or police officers on the spot. Using a special tab on the app, you can also quickly and easily e-mail the information to authorities with a few clicks. 

The app also includes tips on keeping children safe as well as specific guidance on what to do in those first few crucial hours after a child goes missing.

Share the word about this app with family and friends, especially during upcoming activities in your communities to raise awareness on crime and drug prevention.

Thanks to the Sgt. Jerry Ioveno of the NYPD for the following:

Be very careful with this application. It stores all of your children's information on your phone. If your phone gets stolen or it is lost others will have all your child's information and there is no lock on the application to secure it from criminals.
Use the pertinent parts of the application. No addresses, only emergency contact numbers. No personal info except for height, weight, eye color, hair color.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Thinking about camp security

Our hearts and prayers go out to the relatives of the victims of the two attacks in Norway.

There is no credible intelligence about any other plans to attack camps, or that there are plans to attack Jewish camps, in particular. Still, it is appropriate for us to ask, what are the lessons learned from the horrific events in Oslo? What are the best practices for camp security -- even while the details are still emerging?
  1. Lone wolves are dangerous. Unfortunately, a variety of people hate Jews and might choose Jews as targets. The need for continued vigilance, without any preconceptions as to who might be dangerous, continues.
  2. Beware of hostile surveillance.  Although the details are still emerging, it is unlikely that the island camp attacker did not try to view the grounds before his attack. Camp staff should be aware of the possibility of hostile surveillance and know how to report if something "just doesn't look right." See our tips to detect hostile surveillance here.
  3. Camps are a soft target. There are very few camps that are built with adequate perimeter security. At the same time, an intruder is more than likely to enter through the "front". It is wise to have someone screening those wishing to enter the camp. That person should have a remote "panic alarm" to alert camp staff if anyone suspicious is seeking entry.
  4. It helps to have a plan.Organizations should have plans to cover emergency situations. All too often, something happens and people are unprepared. It's better to think about what to do when you have time to think, plan and make arrangements.
  5. Know your options. The NYPD has studied the "active shooter" problem. They recommend that people: a) evacuate to a safe area, if possible; b) go to a "safe room" where people can barricade the door and hide in silence (the problem with most camps is that there are very few options); or  c) to take action against the shooter (by acting quickly and aggressively, collectively and with improvised weapons). According to the NYPD study, 46% of the armed intruder incidents ended via "Option C".
  6. Build and maintain a relationship with your local police.Camp leadership should meet with local police commanders to work out emergency  protocols. The fact that the suspect came dressed as a police officer is especially troubling. Local police should know how to contact camp leadership immediately and alert camp leaders if they are about to enter the camp.
  7. Know who's in your camp. Camps should develop credentials to be prominently worn by visitors and some support staff (e.g., bus drivers who might not be well known by other staff members). 
Keeping these items in mind can help make it a positive camp season. This blog welcomes other ideas. You can send your questions and your suggestions to

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Teaching our children how to cope and what to do

Safety for children. In light of the tragedy in Boro Park, we should be reaching out to parents, urging them to have discussions with their children about basic issues of personal safety. The tips below are from the NYPD and are a good start.

Helping children cope. In light of the Leiby Kletzky  a”h tragedy, Chai Lifeline received many requests to guide parents needing to explain to their children what occurred and how to help them process the information.  Click here to view an 8 minute video presentation by Dr. Norman Blumenthal, Chai Lifeline’s Director of Crisis Intervention.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Leiby's family, friends and classmates. His loss has touched a special chord in all of us.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The search for Leiby Kletzky

Hard-nosed reporters are amazed by the community response supporting the search for Leiby Kletzky, aged 8. He was last seen leaving his camp Monday at 5PM.

Since the missing person report was filed, the NYPD (mobilizing every possible resource) and the Jewish community have worked together closely. Alerts, robo-calls to community residents, missing person posters and house-to-house searches have been conducted by hundreds of volunteers. The search is coordinated by the Boro Park, Flatbush and Williamsburg Shomrim. A significant reward was also offered.

Anyone with information should call the 66th Precinct at 718-851-564.All of us can pray for the safe return of Yehuda ben Ita Esther.