Securing a Sanctuary

By Ann Longmore-Etheridge

The final security component is an intercom and minicamera system by Aiphone of Bellevue, Washington. When the rabbi is alone in the building, which is a majority of the time, if someone comes to the front door, the rabbi can see who is there on a screen on the desk phone and decide whether to buzz them in or not. “If he sees somebody who looks suspicious, he can dial 911 immediately,” says Slotnick.

The installation of the equipment, and the testing of the system, along with staff training, took place early this year, and Slotnick says that everything went as planned. The only changes that were needed were related to camera housings. At the rab­bi’s request, those were changed to make them less conspicuous.

“The intent is to have a system that is unobtrusive, welcoming—the system should be invisible to people who attend the synagogue. We don’t want them to feel like they are walking into a bank. We want them to feel like they are walking into a house of worship,” Slotnick states.

photo by Dominic Alves/flickr


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