The Preservation Society received a grant from the State of Connecticut Department of Emergency Services & Public Protection to assist in enhancing security at our historic building. In early January Marcus Communications installed an upgraded surveillance camera system and new access controls for the building's exterior doors. The system consists of nine surveillance cameras - six external and three internal - which provide 24/7 video surveillance which is accessible remotely to all members of the organization's security committee. The cameras record all activity in and around the building and the recordings are stored in the cloud for viewing and analysis of any incidents that may occur. Additionally, exterior doors are now equipped with video intercoms which provide electronic remote access control. Finally, the system provides for panic buttons which enable immediate lockdown of entry doors and direct notification to the the Society's alarm company with telephone ties to local police.
These security enhancements are made in a time of increased hostility displayed toward Jews and Jewish institutions in the United States. In 2021, the Anti Defamation League recorded 2,717 antisemitic incidents, a 34% increase when compared to 2020. This is the highest number on record since ADL began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979. The Preservation Society is committed to remaining vigilant in the face of this increased hostility and taking all reasonable measures to keep its members and guests safe.
The Preservation Society has cancelled this year's Community Passover Seder. Our building sustained damage from burst heating pipes during the deep freeze that occurred over the weekend of February 4-5. Remediation efforts are underway and we hope to have the building restored and back in use by early summer. We wish all our friends happy and meaningful Passover and Easter observances.