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Security, By Chaim Heller, Head of School

Chaim final constant contactSecurity

With the incident in San Bernardino fresh on our minds, I’d like to remind us of an incident closer to home. A few years ago there was an attack on a JCC preschool in Los Angeles, perpetrated by a white supremacist. When asked why he attacked the JCC, he said that he drove past other Jewish targets and they were all more difficult to attack. The preschool was a “soft” target.

SDJA goes to great lengths to ensure that we are not a “soft” target. We limit access, monitor entry and provide security at all school functions. We review the perimeter on a regular and non-predictable schedule and convene our Security Advisory Team as needed. Additionally we work very closely with the SDPD, the ADL and Homeland Security to monitor any threats or concerns. We practice drills with children and adults on campus and have well developed procedures for every imaginable incident. That said, security and safety are our most important concerns. We remain vigilant and non-complacent, always looking to improve security while not turning the school into neither a fortress nor an unwelcome, foreboding place for children. It’s a delicate dance. We will keep dancing.

We celebrate Chanukah next week at school with a flurry of activities that your children will share with you. We will also begin what we hope will be a new SDJA tradition, Israel Week, in which we’ll have teaching and programs about Israel for students and families.

We kick off with the SDJA-only screening of “Jerusalem” at the IMAX Theatre in the Reuben H. Fleet Space Center in Balboa Park at 6:30 pm on Saturday night, January 9th. There is no charge for the movie and refreshments, but space is limited, it’s first-come, first-served and you must RSVP here. More to come about the other events, stay tuned.

Finally, we often hear from our friends and colleagues in our sister city in Israel – Sha’ar HaNegev. Please click here to read all about recent events from Israel. This is the first in a series of communications we’re happy to share with our SDJA families.

Wishing you and your family a joyous Chanukah holiday – Chag Urim Sameach,


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