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On October 18, 2017, our Chabad Center and Preschool of the Arts were targeted for vandalism and theft in an unfortunate break-in that may have been partially motivated by anti-Semitic sentiment. We are grateful that on November 16, 2017, less than a month after the incident, Naples law enforcement arrested the alleged perpetrator of this criminal activity.

In light of this event, we have spent the last few weeks carefully assessing Chabad’s current security procedures to determine if there are any areas in which we can improve so as to prevent a reoccurrence of this type of crime. We have carefully analyzed our facility’s potential weak points with the Naples Police Department and a private security company. The security risk analysis resulted in a few strong recommendations for protocols that would better secure our center and ensure the continued safety of all our constituents.

Urgent Needs to Strengthen Chabad Center Security:

  1. Electronic Gates

    Electronic Gates around the Orchid and Alamanda Road entrances that could be controlled to allow certain cars to enter Chabad premises. Currently, the sides of our campus are unsecured, so these gates present an urgent need and are a top priority. The cost of this addition is $40,000
  2. Security Cameras

    22 new security cameras to be dispersed throughout the campus. Our current video cameras were critical in helping film the intruder in action and determining if there was an accomplice with a car at the scene of the crime. However, the footage was low quality since our cameras are outdated, having been installed in 2012. Technology has developed significantly in the past five years, and it is recommended that we update all our cameras to the cutting-edge videos on the market today. The cost for the camera purchase and installation is $20,000
  3. Security Alarm System

    Updated security alarm systems that would notify us of a break-in both at the Chabad building and Preschool classrooms. The cost for the new alarm system is $5,000
  4. Torah Safe/Vault

    A safe and vault for the Torah scrolls. Torah scrolls have historically been targeted for theft both for their religious significance and for their monetary resale value. A high-quality safety vault would protect these sacred religious items. The cost of the Torah vault is $10,000
  5. Security Guard

    Increased security guard hours. We are proud that our current safety protocols include the watchful eye of a trained, professional security guard. The presence of a guard on duty, which is currently during primary school hours, has to date always deterred any potential negative activity. It is recommended that we increase the guard’s hours both on a daily basis and during large community events. Hiring an additional guard is also suggested due to the sheer size of our campus. The cost of an increased security presence is $30,000
  6. Exterior Safety Lighting

    Lighting for outside areas: $7,000

We are sharing this important information with you, as you have previously offered to assist us in financing identified security measures. We are very grateful for your expressed desire to help our school by showing your support in such a tangible way, especially in the aftermath of this unfortunate incident. Please consider helping us institute these recommendations by helping offset the costs of these initiatives to the best of your ability. There is an urgent need to implement these recommendations as soon as possible in order to reassure our community that we take their security seriously and make them feel comfortable and safe on our campus at all times. There are over 100 children that walk through our doors every day, and their safety and wellbeing is our absolute priority. We want families to feel confident and secure in their decision to continue coming to a Jewish center and preschool.

Please let me know if you are able to defray the costs of any or all of these security needs. I am also available to meet with you in person if you would like to discuss particulars.

Thank you for your steadfast friendship and support of our organization. It is our hope that taking these actions will ensure that we will never have to repeat this past month’s experience.

Sincerely, Fishel Zaklos