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Empowering the Community:  A Positive Experience with Jewish Emergency Preparedness Response 

Updated: Feb 20

Empowering the Community:  A Positive Experience with Jewish Emergency Preparedness

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In a world where unforeseen emergencies and security threats have become a reality, it is crucial for communities to be prepared and equipped to respond effectively. Recently, Chabad of the Main Line participated in the Jewish Emergency Preparedness Program (JEPP). The program as a whole and this specific training experience was eye-opening and not only exposed the community leaders and volunteers to potential and active threats but also highlighted the importance of human contribution to security. This program prepared the volunteers to respond to any type of security challenge, leaving them empowered and united. 


Rabbi Serman mentioned, “It opened our eyes that a pivotal aspect of congregational security are the greeters, not necessarily the security guards. How you welcome/screen someone, does anything look or sound abnormal – these are keys to keep a threats isolated and away from others. We also came to appreciate that emergency preparedness includes situations such as loss of electricity during Kol Nidrei services, someone having a medical event, sudden severe weather, to name a few.”

 

A Comprehensive Approach to Emergency Preparedness: 

JEPP provided the volunteers with a comprehensive approach to emergency preparedness. It went beyond traditional security measures and emphasized the role each individual plays in ensuring the safety of the community. From threat awareness to practical response techniques and decision making, the program sensitized them to the potential threats they may face and equipped them with the necessary skills to address them. 

 

Experiencing the Potential Threats: 

During the program, leaders in the congregation were exposed to various potential threats that could impact our community. These scenarios simulated real-life situations, allowing them to understand the gravity of the challenges they may face. One notable aspect was the emphasis on the potential for an active threat. The program didn't shy away from addressing this reality, but rather provided them with the tools and knowledge to respond effectively, even in the most challenging circumstances. 

 

Preparing for the Unexpected: 

One of the most remarkable aspects of the program was its ability to prepare the community for the unexpected. It was not limited to scenarios where everything was functioning smoothly. Instead, the program included simulations where the electricity was intentionally shut off, forcing us to rely on our training and instincts. This aspect of the program truly highlighted the importance of being prepared for any situation, no matter how unpredictable. 

 

Engaging the Community: 

Engaging members of our community in the Jewish Emergency Preparedness Response program was a seamless and effortless process. Volunteers were eager to learn how they could help and be prepared in any situation. The program's emphasis on the role of each person in contributing to the security of the community resonated with the congregation. Everyone felt a sense of responsibility and willingly participated, recognizing the impact their involvement could have on the safety and well-being of the entire community. 

 

For more information and to see how JEPP can help your organization, please reach out to yoni@jepp365.org


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