Resumption of Operations and Organizational Reopening Working Group

Resumption of Operations and Organizational Reopening Working Group

Our community organizations and facilities are facing conditions unlike ever before. Responsible measures to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak have led thousands of facilities, including synagogues, community centers, schools, senior centers, camps and workplaces to close down, cease, or severely limit their operations.

Organizations and facilities must consider how to reopen so that they can efficiently and safely resume fulfilling the vital roles they play, from offering educational and social services to spiritual ones, both to the Jewish community as well as the broader community.

Working Together

To assist organizations, facilities and community members in addressing some of the most pressing safety, health, security and welfare issues presented by COVID-19, the Secure Community Network, as the official safety and security organization of The Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, convened a Resumption of Operations and Organizational Reopening Working Group.

Purpose of the Working Group

The purpose of this Working Group is to identify, discuss and make recommendations surrounding best practice policies and procedures regarding the resumption of operations and the reopening of organizations and facilities, given the current and anticipated environment around COVID-19.

An Ongoing Process

Various organizations and facilities are at very different places – both across the country and even in the same communities – with respect to their reopening processes. As such, the Working Group has first focused on framing out the major issues and concerns that organizations should be considering. The materials initially released represent merely the first of a number of guidance documents that the Working Group has underway and intends to release over the coming weeks.

The materials will address various health, safety, security and welfare issues and will culminate with a comprehensive guidance document. The Working Group’s ongoing efforts will seek to provide recommendations for facilities to address the identified considerations.

Deliverables & Timeline

The Working Group intends to issue the following materials and resources. As these materials and resources are finalized between now and the end of May, the documents will be added. As noted, the efforts of the Working Group are iterative and its work will likely continue into the foreseeable future.

  • Overview of Considerations for Resumption of Operations and Organizational Reopening: an easy-to-use document in list form that provides the main questions and considerations that organizations and facilities should take into account when considering when, how and for whom to reopen.
  • Low-Cost/No-Cost Facility Security Guidance for Use in Reopening: security must remain a priority for all organizations and facilities as they seek to reopen, particularly in the current environment. This document provides a list of simple security considerations, with limited to no-cost, that organizations should consider implementing prior to reopening.
  • Emergency Operations Plan Template: the current pandemic identified issues for many organizations and facilities related to emergency plans and planning processes. This document, designed specifically for the Jewish community, provides a basic template to allow organizations to better plan how they will respond to and recover from any hazard.
  • Pandemic Planning Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) Annex: Annexes are the parts of an EOP that begin to provide specific information and direction for types of events; this annex template focuses on ongoing issues and matters related to pandemic. Focusing on operations, the annex template will assist organizations and facilities in identifying necessary responsibilities, tasks, and operational actions.
  • Mail and Package Handling Guidance in the Age of COVID-19: This document will outline basic best-practice recommendations on how to address mail and package handling concerns related to COVID-19.
  • Comprehensive Resumption of Operations and Reopening Guidance Document: This comprehensive guidance document will offer organizations and facilities best-practice recommendations for the considerations and issues identified in the “Considerations for Resumption of Operations and Organizational Reopening” document, to include easy-to-use checklists and templates to assist organizations in the reopening process.

How to Use the Materials

The materials and resources provided/referenced are often illustrative – but not necessarily exhaustive – of the most common issues, concerns and focus areas that organizations and facilities are working to address, should be working to address, or have under consideration. Utilized as part of a comprehensive strategy around safety, security, health and welfare, the materials and resources can be a valuable tool.

Members of the Working Group

The Working Group is comprised of a group of professionals and subject matter experts from the public, private, non-profit, and academic sectors, representing Jewish Federations, national organizations and synagogue movements as well as security, emergency management, public health, and former law enforcement officials, to include individuals who currently work to address security matters within the Jewish community.

A list of the Working Group members can be found here.


The information provided is intended to offer guidance regarding current best practice considerations in addressing the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). It is intended to assist partner and stakeholder organizations, facilities and decision-makers with top line guidance when dealing with a range of matters related to COVID-19.

The materials provided reflect the best available information at the time they were prepared. It is possible that the strategies and concepts outlined in the materials may change as understanding of the unique challenges that COVID-19 poses evolves. As such, information or resources provided or made available should not be considered as rigid, nor are they intended to supplant judgment based on observed conditions.

The materials have been developed with information from publicly available sources, including public, private, non-profit and academic entities, as well as based on the knowledge and expertise of subject matter experts from each of the aforementioned sectors. As the current pandemic is an ongoing, rapidly developing situation, SCN encourages its partners and stakeholders to monitor publicly available information and to always follow federal, state and local health organization guidance and government mandates.

SCN does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the materials provided or resources listed and assumes no responsibility for any injury or damage to persons or property arising out of or related to any use of this Guidance or for any errors or omissions.