The Marcus JCC board approved a $5 a month security fee for members effective April 1 in an effort to continue providing and improving its high level of security, especially in light of national and direct threats over the past few years.
“We’ve always been on the forefront of providing exceptional security,” CEO Jared Powers told the AJT. The board considered other options but decided for “the least amount of financial hardship, a nominal monthly fee was the way to go.”
“We are continuing to implement additional security measures at Zaban Park, Camp Barney Medintz, The Sunshine School, and The Schiff School,” he wrote in a March 4 letter to members.
“Funding these additional security measures solely from our operating budget is a challenge,” he stated.
The security fee will supplement donations the MJCCA receives to its security fund.
In his letter to members, Powers said that the new fee would allow the MJCCA to:
• Maintain and increase security personnel when necessary
• Continue to hire qualified and well-trained security officers
• Enhance our technology and analytics systems
• Install a new communication system
• Conduct important security trainings
He wouldn’t discuss other security measures or provide more specifics to the AJT but said that some enhancements were more visible than others. The visible signs include arming security guards and adding cameras and barriers around campus, Powers wrote to members.
“This security assessment will only cover a portion of our total security costs and is designed to minimize the financial burden to our membership.”
Alternate financial arrangements are available for those who have trouble paying the additional fee, he told the AJT. He added that the reaction, so far, has been “overwhelmingly” positive. “They are grateful for the level of security.”
He said the $60-a-year security fee is conservative compared to other JCCs and synagogues around the country and reasonable based on MJCCA membership rates. They can range from about $500 to $2500 a year, he said, adding that the increase would not impact this year’s summer-only members.