How to Prepare and Prevent a Terrorist at your Jewish Temple, School or Community Center – Jewish Community under siege

Today, several Jewish Community Centers across the nation received bomb threats. The closest threat to Los Angeles, reported as of 10 a.m., was in Marin County, Ca. JCC locations in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts and Maine were also targeted.

This is the second string of bomb threats called into Jewish Community Centers this month. On Jan. 9, the Miami Beach JCC was targeted with a threat that led to the evacuation of its center, school and child care facilities. It was the first report that day and was shortly followed by reports of bomb threats against JCCs along the East Coast.

Thankfully, in all of the situations reported thus far, no injuries or deaths have occurred and no bombs have been found nor detonated. However, the fact that these calls and threats against various Jewish communities are being made highlights how it must continue its preparations for handling such situations.

Synagogues and Jewish schools are, by definition, a target. Because of their appeal to a specific ethnic and religious community, there is an inherent threat from extremists imposed on social gatherings and buildings. As such, these institutions are obligated to develop emergency response plans and, as possible, work with a professional and trusted comprehensive security firm to ensure the safety of their community.

With specific regard to the seemingly linked bomb threats targeted at JCCs, we think it is necessary that you know how to handle a call. The Department of Homeland Security offers a bomb threat checklist and list of quick tips on how to manage a bomb threat. Note that these instances are serious and should not be taken lightly. Additionally, hosting an internal bomb threat training in your organization could be the difference between life and death.

Bomb threat training, active shooter and other terrorism-related training is essential to companies operating locally and abroad, as well as to facilities and events that are defined as soft targets. Large events, bustling buildings and public spaces render themselves susceptible to security hazards, including bomb and improvised explosive devices; hence, workshops and trainings from security experts are essential to maintaining a safe community space for all. This process of target hardening is aimed at ensuring your congregation, students, community members and friends are safe within your unique space.

To enhance your security and to begin the target hardening process, we recommend the following:

The first step is awareness. This may include becoming a member of organizations sponsored by the Jewish Federation, Secure Community Network, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Infragard. These organizations provide valuable intelligence, manuals, briefings and training. In LA, the Community Security Initiative of the Los Angeles Jewish Federation supports members by providing assessment, intelligence monitoring, information sharing and training services to Jewish schools and synagogues.

The second step is conducting a full audit of your organization and facility. That includes looking at its geographical location, physical security measures and training options, as well as the level of employee and contractor screening, emergency procedures, law enforcement response and contingency planning currently implemented.

The third step is improving and implementing best practices and monitoring the differences.

It is important to remember that target hardening isn’t a one-time process. It is ever-changing and requires consistent attention. A professional and experienced security consultant in Los Angeles can assist in reviewing and implementing the process.

AEGIS Security & Investigations is a professional and experienced security resource to the Jewish community. We address the specific needs of all of our clients, and we have a unique understanding of the security demands for synagogues, schools and community centers because of our close affiliation with the Jewish community. So, where the Community Security Initiative stops, AEGIS continues. We provide expert security consulting and assessment services, armed and unarmed security guard service, and training on how to survive an active shooter.

The gravity of bomb threats, active shooter situations, and security breaches is best understood when you are placed in a real-life scenario. Trainings from AEGIS are hosted in a controlled, safe space that imitate real-world threats and orient participants to appropriately react and protect themselves and others should such a scenario become a reality.

AEGIS’ expansive list of Corporate Training Solutions is ideal for overall workplace safety and security, amplifying employee readiness in the event of an emergency. Topics ranging from pre-incident indicators of threats to active shooters can be trained in a rememberable format to resonate with participants, ensuring they walk away certain of their abilities to effectively respond to a variety of threat-related situations. Contacting AEGIS today can offer your employees and clients the assurance necessary to feel safe in the workplace.

Our Workplace Violence & Security Awareness training program  is designed to provide information on how to identify, predict, mitigate and respond to workplace violence, crime and terrorism. Specific training on bomb threat protocol can be incorporated into your personal resiliency program to enhance your workplace’s ability to effectively and safely handle such a situation. The training program lasts between two and eight hours dependent on the needs of the company..

AEGIS Security & Investigations is a Los Angeles region company that is licensed and insured in the State of California to provide high-end armed and unarmed regular and temporary off-duty police officers, bodyguards, security officers, loss prevention agents, and event staff. Additionally, we offer services for private investigation, consultation, people tracing, and background investigation. Our trainings and workshops in the field of security licensure and counter-terrorism have been featured in news media and are renowned for their efficacy. For more information or to contact us, visit


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Authors: Chelsea Turner & Jeff Zisner