Suspicious Package Containing Powder and Antisemitic Letter Mailed to Local Shul

Suspicious Package Containing Powder and Antisemitic Letter Mailed to Local Shul

by M.C. Millman

The Community Security Initiative emailed a warning to the community to beware of opening suspicious packages after a shul in the area received a suspicious package addressed to the Chief Rabbi, which contained a gray-black powder. 

"For your situational awareness," the email read before going into more detail. "There is no immediate threat."

"The situation is under investigation but was likely religious in nature," David Pollack, founder and senior advisor to Community Security Initiative, shares exclusively with Rockland Daily. "We are not sharing details other than that the letter had religious, antisemitic overtones."

The Community Security Initiative reminds the community that the following steps should be followed for suspicious packages. First and foremost, a suspicious package, especially one with no return address, a clear red flag, should not be opened. 

If someone in the organization does open a package containing an unknown substance (e.g., powder), follow the following steps:

  1. Leave the package in place.
  2. Immediately evacuate the room and close the door. No one but the police should enter that room.
  3. Inform someone to dial 911.
  4. Anyone opening such a package with an unknown substance should immediately thoroughly wash their hands. 
  5. Shut down the building's HVAC, air conditioners, air purifiers, etc.
  6. When the police arrive, follow their directions. 

Additionally, the Community Security Initiative suggests the organization consider reviewing mail handling procedures with staff and advise mailroom and other personnel not to handle letters or packages that look suspicious (discoloration, stains, or emitting an odor).

For further guidance on this or any other security questions, contact the Community Security Initiative at: [email protected].

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