On October 27th, the world was shocked by the shooting that took place at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh. The impact of the event attacking the Jewish community in a neighboring state makes us recognize how vulnerable we all are. There is hate that exists in the minds of unstable individuals, and random actions result that can affect all of us.
Temple Beth Miriam is a sanctuary from the world outside. You come here to reflect, to celebrate, and to unburden yourself from the tensions of daily life. As your president, I want you to know that we had taken precautions well before this tragic event, and have taken additional actions as a result of this latest tragedy.
The temple always had an alarm system, and very good relations with the Long Branch police department. Last year, we enhanced the system with an electronic lock with keypad and a camera system. The magnetically secured door is kept locked when the building is occupied, and can be unlocked remotely when needed. The camera system records all movements around the perimeter of the building and stores those images for 30 days. You may have noticed on Friday nights that an usher utilizes an iPAD to monitor who is at the front door, and unlocks the door for congregants.
We have taken the added precaution to hire a service that provides an armed guard. The guard will be present when school is in session, on Friday nights, and whenever there is an event at the temple.
We all have a responsibility to insure the safety of our families, friends and community by being aware, noticing suspicious behavior and reporting those observations to the proper authorities. With your help, we can continue to make Beth Miriam the safe sanctuary that it is.