As a passionately curious individual, Meir is driven by an insatiable desire to learn and grow. Constantly seeking ways to make a positive impact in both his personal and professional pursuits, he navigates life with enthusiasm and a commitment to continuous self-improvement. Once a task is accomplished, his satisfaction comes from skillful delegation, leveraging teamwork and collaboration to achieve collective success.

Upping Our Security

In the aftermath of the unprecedented events that transpired in Israel last October, our school community faced the harsh reality that the safety and security of our students, staff, and faculty required immediate attention and strategic action. Montreal has not been immune from the antisemitic protests, harassment and attacks occurring throughout North America and worldwide. As the president of the board of Hebrew Academy, I would like to share the proactive steps we have taken to enhance our school’s security measures and contribute to the broader conversation on safeguarding educational institutions.

Immediate Response and Assessment 

The safety and wellbeing of our school community have always been our top priorities. In the wake of the events in Israel, our board of directors, in collaboration with the school’s administration, conducted a thorough assessment of our existing security protocols. Recognizing the need for decisive action, we prioritized strengthening our security infrastructure to ensure a swift and comprehensive response to potential threats.

Appointment of Full-Time Head of Security 

One of the key measures we implemented was the appointment of a dedicated, full-time head of security. This professional is responsible for overseeing and coordinating all aspects of our security protocols, ensuring that we have a vigilant and proactive approach to any potential risks.

Significant Budget Increase

Understanding the critical nature of the situation, we quadrupled our security budget to provide the necessary resources for implementing and sustaining enhanced security measures. This financial commitment reflects our unwavering dedication to creating a secure learning environment for every member of our school community. 

Collaboration with Federation 

With support from the Federation, we introduced a self-defense program, specifically Krav Maga, for parent volunteers. This initiative not only empowers our volunteers with valuable skills but also establishes an additional layer of security by having trained individuals actively monitoring the school premises during high-traffic periods such as dropoff and pickup.

Constant Communication with Parents

Maintaining transparent communication with our parent body has been paramount. We have implemented a continuous communication strategy to keep parents informed about any changes in security measures, upcoming events, and the importance of their cooperation in the overall safety of our school. 

No Incidents, but a Cautionary Tale 

While we are grateful to report that we have not experienced any security incidents within our school, we cannot ignore the broader context. Two nearby schools recently faced gunfire within their premises after hours, emphasizing the need for a practice and vigilant security stance. 

Sharing Our Experience 

In the spirit of communal support and learning from one another, we share our experience with other educational institutions. It is our hope that by openly discussing the measure we have taken, we can contribute to a broader conversation on school security and encourage other communities to assess and strengthen their own protocols. 

The events in Israel served as a catalyst for our school community to reevaluate and fortify our security measures. By taking a proactive and comprehensive approach, we aim to provide a safe and secure environment for learning and growth. We extend our gratitude to the dedicated individuals within our community and look forward to continued collaboration with other communities facing similar challenges. Together, we can create educational environments where safety is paramount, fostering the wellbeing and success of our students.