ADL's 18 Best Practices for Security

ADL has created a list of 18 best practices for Jewish institutions to assist you in being safe and secure while maintaining an open and welcoming environment.
Our recommendations include the following:

  1. Designate a member of your staff to serve as a security manager.
  2. Designate a member of your staff to serve as an emergency/crisis manager and designate a backup in the event of the manager’s absence.
  3. Create security plans, regularly assess risks, and revisit your security plans to update them accordingly.
  4. Meet and develop relationships with law enforcement, including the commander of the jurisdiction where your institution is located.
  5. Provide regular security training to all staff.
  6. Run regular security drills with staff, reviewing how to respond to different scenarios.
  7. Establish procedures for keeping people out of your institution who do not belong.
  8. Ensure everyone at your institution is familiar with suspicious activity indicators, and what to do if they find something suspicious.
  9. Ensure everyone at your institution is familiar with suspicious mail indicators and what to do if they receive a suspicious letter or package.
  10. Create and implement a plan for responding to bomb threats.
  11. Establish an evacuation plan.
  12. Prepare for how you would continue your institution’s operations and services after an incident, such as being able to access important computer data and records off-site.
  13. Establish a shelter-in-place plan to keep safe while maintaining in your facility.
  14. Establish a policy for your institution’s website or other online communications that takes security into consideration, addressing issues such as whether to post facility and event addresses, event calendars, contact information for individuals, and photographs.
  15. Make security part of the culture of your institution, involving staff, leadership and constituents.
  16. Encourage staff, leadership, and constituents to trust their instincts if they come across someone or something suspicious.
  17. Sign up to receive the Communal Security Initiative (CSI) security bulletins and alerts.
  18. Read ADL’s security manual Protecting Your Jewish Institution, which can be found at, and provides additional information on each of these recommendations.