With COVID, for the most part, in the rearview mirror, Atlanta-area congregations are preparing for a large turnout for this year’s High Holiday services.
As such, the Secure Community Network, the security partner of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, is on high alert to prevent and/or react to any antisemitic incidents that may take place during the High Holiday season.
“Year-round, we prepare and try to make our facilities as safe and secure as possible,” SCN safety director Brian Davis said in an interview with 11Alive News. “We offer webinars monthly and, especially before the High Holidays, we start a series weekly of how to prepare for any type of emergency.”
Davis, who joined the SCN this year, has been coordinating with officials to implement safety protocols and ensure community synagogues and Chabads are prepared.
“Preparedness and awareness. When you see something, say something,” Davis told 11Alive in a recent interview. “Go about your life as normal, just be vigilant and secured and prepared for whatever may come and have a plan in place.”
Davis and his fellow officials at SCN are aware of the series of recent antisemitic incidents that occurred in and around Atlanta, including:
* Goyim Defense League distributed antisemitic flyers in Alpharetta;
*A bomb threat was called in at the Jewish Federation office and Breman Museum;
* A pair of swastikas were carved into a bench along Cheshire Bridge Road;
* Antisemitic protesters gathered outside Chabad of Cobb.
The Secure Community Network wants the greater Atlanta Jewish community to feel safe during the High Holidays.
Davis said, “Our job is to make sure that local law enforcement and federal law enforcement work closely with us to make sure these incidences are being addressed and monitored. We also make sure the proper security personnel are at each facility and that there’s a plan in place to make sure they know how to react if something did occur.”
Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset, Friday, Sept. 15, ending at sundown on Sept. 17; Yom Kippur begins before sunset on Sunday, Sept. 24, and ends during the evening of Sept. 25.
For more information about the Secure Community Network, please visit www.jewishatlanta.org/what-we-do/our-initiatives/we-secure-the-community.