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Security Update

Published Friday, March 24, 2017 8:00 pm

Today our children came bouncing to school with usual squeals of delight. Our fitness center is crowded, balls bounce in the gym, and the lanes in the pool are busy. We expect a full-house as our community enjoys a pre-Passover celebration in the theatre.

Like every day, we come together for our health and wellness, our education, our socialization. We come together as a community.

Nevertheless, today is a little bit different. A suspect was arrested in connection to the threats made to JCCs throughout the U.S. We don't expect to ever understand his motives, as there is simply no rationale that can explain the attacks.

Our staff and Board of Directors join me in applauding the efforts of the FBI, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and our own Irvine Police Department for their commitment to our safety. We continue to work with law enforcement, continuously heightening security, and just today met with DHS to conduct a series of comprehensive security assessments.

We are also tremendously grateful to our members and the entire community for their inexhaustible support. Our civic, political and faith communities continue to buoy us with their words and gestures of concern and friendship, and if I am totally honest, have brought tears to our eyes with their unwavering encouragement. 

Like every day, we are doing the work of building a vibrant community. Like every day, the safety of our children, our members, and our community remains our top priority. We are always vigilant. It is our responsibility to ensure that the 50,000 people who pass through our doors each month, enjoying the extraordinary programs that define our JCC, do so with every confidence that we remain a secure and exciting engine for building a vibrant community. 

 

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January 31, 2017 

In the past couple of months JCC's around the nation have been victims of hoax threats. At 4:40 this afternoon, Monday, February 27, our JCC received a bomb threat via phone call. Several other JCCs around the country received threats today as well, and all were deemed not credible.

The Irvine Police Department arrived within minutes and units conducted a full inspection of the building giving the all clear. Staff and security are trained extensively to handle emergency situations. Our safety protocols and practices are reviewed and practiced under the guidance of the Irvine Police Department. Staff responded immediately and professionally evacuating the entire building.Our building opened up again to the community at 7:30 pm. 
 
The safety and security of our members is always our foremost priority. We will continue to be vigilant and work closely with law enforcement.
 
For 13 years, we have celebrated Jewish life and welcomed the entire community through our doors. We will always be a place for people to come together- to learn, to grow, to socialize, and be a part of a vibrant, dynamic and unique community.
 
Thank you to our staff and local law enforcement for their swift and professional response. Thank you to our community for your support of the Merage JCC . It is because of you that we are able to continue to be a center that celebrates diversity, education, health and community.