Dear Nursery School and Nature Explorer Families,
I am writing to you today with updates about exciting plans for our renovation this summer as well as a security update in light of recent tragic events. The increase in acts of terror in places of worship throughout the world, but especially in our own country, is unsettling to be sure, and we mourn with too many families in Poway, in Sri Lanka, in New Zealand, in Louisiana and wherever else hate brings violence to those who gather in prayer.
At its essence, all of Temple Shalom is a sanctuary--a sacred space where people can feel safe in while learning, worshiping, and celebrating. As many of you know, we increased security measures last fall following consultations with the Newton Police Department and security consultants. Since then, we regularly evaluate every aspect of our security measures.
Security throughout our property continues to be a high priority. Safety measures including magnetically locked doors, controlled elevator access to the Nursery School, staffed reception desk and visitor sign in, professional security personnel during Shabbat and SHACHARIT, surveillance cameras, and regular communication with the Newton Police Department continue to be our standard operating procedure. In addition to our work with security consultants from Safer Places and the Newton Police Department, Temple Shalom has developed a relationship with Security Community Network (SCN, www.securecommunitynetwork.org) SCN works with Jewish organizations throughout North America including CJP and the Israeli Consulate in Boston as the premier provider of preparedness training for Jewish institutions. As part of our renovation project this summer we are working to address security needs in our new space.
The construction this summer will begin June 24th and the project will be complete around the second week of September. We do anticipate some limitations to available parking during that time and more information with specific details is forthcoming as the planning is finalized. Most of the work will be internal renovation in the Sanctuary and Social Hall and those spaces will not be accessible during the time of construction. Our general contractor was told from the outset that our Nature Explorer Summer Camp will be onsite this summer and the construction planning is being done so that the camp and construction workers and work will not overlap in any space at any time. Inside the building there will be a temporary wall erected near the chapel that will prevent anyone from passing back and forth between construction space and the usable space. Only the construction coordinators and head foremen will have access to the interior of the building, however, every worker who is onsite for more than one day will have a CORI check run by the Temple and on file in the office. Our construction planning process is taking every step to thoughtfully anticipate how the construction will impact our campers this summer and every effort is being made to mitigate inconvenience for families while guaranteeing the safety of everyone in our building.
We know that the summer and years ahead will hold many blessings for our community. Our newly renovated space will be welcoming and accessible to all and will be the center of so many exciting moments to come in the life of our congregation. In the spirit of openness and welcome, we must also face the reality of a changing world and remain vigilant regarding the safety of all those within our walls. Thank you for placing your children in our care, we do not take that trust for granted.
If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding our upcoming renovation project or our security please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-332-9550 x11.