FR Jewish Institution Receives Security Grant
Just weeks after the thwarted attacks on two Bronx synagogues, Representative Anthony D. Weiner (D - Brooklyn and Queens), a member of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, Assemblyman Rory Lancman (DFresh Meadows), and Councilman James F. Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows), announced today that five high-risk non-profit and religious groups in Queens will receive Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grants. Rep. Weiner was joined by representatives from four Queens groups - the Israel Center of Conservative Judaism, the Hillcrest Jewish Center, the Jewish Institute of Queens and the Beis Medrash Heichal Dovid. The Queens Jewish institutions will receive a total of $307,050.
Sixty-one institutions in New York City will receive a total of $4.1 million from the Department of Homeland Security. Last year 59 non-profit institutions received the same amount of grant money. This year the city will receive approximately three times more than the amount given to any other locality nationwide. In total, New York State will receive $4.6 million.
Queens Jewish Institutions Receiving DHS
•Beis Medrash Heichal Dovid, Far Rockaway
•Hillcrest Jewish Center, Hillcrest
•Israel Center of Conservative Judaism, Kew
•Jewish Institute of Queens, Rego Park
•Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and
Rehabilitation, New Hyde Park
In May, federal authorities, working with the New York Police Department, arrested four men who were planning to bomb the Riverdale Temple and the Riverdale Jewish Center in the Bronx. The men were also planning to attack military planes at an upstate Air National Guard base. The grants are being made available through the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Nonprofit Security Grant Program, and will provide significant funding for security measures at the very institutions being singled out as potential targets - including hospitals, synagogues, and universities. Since the program began in 2005, more than 200 New York City nonprofits received nearly $17 million in funding.
Institutions that qualified for the current grant program were eligible to receive up to $75,000 - funds that can be used to train security personnel and install security measures such as surveillance cameras, barriers and controlled entry systems. The average award for grant winners is approximately $70,000, and the funds are expected to be delivered within the next 60 days.
Rep. Weiner said, "As the planned attacks in the Bronx highlight, nonprofit and religious institutions are at-risk - and need protection. Worshipers, museum goers, and hospital visitors expect and deserve a safe environment, and these grants will go a long way towards ensuring their safety."
Assemblyman Lancman said, "Congressman Weiner's commitment to protecting our community is an example the state should emulate. Last night, the Assembly passed my legislation to commission the State Office of Homeland Security to evaluate the security needs of non-profits, advise them of the financial resources available to them and develop strategies for protecting their facilities and users.
The millions of New Yorkers who benefit from our non-profits deserve the state's maximum efforts at keeping them safe."
"Assuring the safety for our precious religious institution requires ongoing investment in security systems. The funding secured by Congressman Weiner is an investment in the security of these institutions. I am grateful to Congressman Weiner for making these institutions, and our entire community, even safer," said Councilman Gennaro.
The UASI program was created after Weiner offered legislation in the Judiciary Committee in 2004. The Department of Homeland Security does not release the specific list of grant recipients due to security reasons.