Young Israel Shuls Receive Homeland Security Grants

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young-israel-logoThe National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) announced that two Young Israel branches were recently awarded 2009 Non-Profit Homeland Security Grants. The Young Israel of Bedford Bay, New York, and the Young Israel Ohab Zedek of North Riverdale, New York, will receive funds to enhance security for their synagogues. Grants awarded under this program can be used for equipment for specific “target-hardening” activities, such as physical security enhancements, inspection and screening systems, and security training. The maximum grant award per applicant is $75,000.

“In today’s day and age, it is critical that religious institutions take the necessary precautions to keep their premises secure and their congregants safe,” said NCYI Director of Synagogue Services Rabbi Mordechai Roizman. “We are especially pleased that the Young Israel of Bedford Bay and the Young Israel Ohab Zedek of North Riverdale will be the recipients of much-needed funding that will enable them to augment their security practices.”

New York State not-for-profits will receive more than 30% of the $15 million that will be distributed nationwide through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security this year. 50% of the not-for-profit organizations that applied for the 2009 Non-Profit Homeland Security Grant in New York State were awarded funds.

In January 2009, the National Council of Young Israel hosted a workshop for Young Israel branches and affiliates about applying for the 2009 Non-Profit Homeland Security Grant. Attendees were instructed how to complete the grant applications and learned about the steps that applicants are required to take in order to be considered for a grant award.

“The National Council of Young Israel provided our synagogue with invaluable expert advice about the Homeland Security grant process,” said Daniel Wasserman, a member of the Board of Directors of the Young Israel Ohab Zedek of North Riverdale. “Rabbi Roizman patiently explained how to compile the application and walked us through the NCYI’s step-by-step PowerPoint presentation. Rabbi Roizman also suggested that we contact a security professional who could share with us ideas about how to enhance our security measures while complying with agency protocol. We thank the NCYI for playing a crucial role in helping procure $75,000 in federal anti-terrorism funding.”

It is anticipated that applications for the 2010 Non-Profit Homeland Security Grant will be available in December 2009 and that the completed applications will be due in January and February of 2010. The National Council of Young Israel encouraged all of its branch synagogues and affiliates to begin preparing now for next year’s grant application.

“There are steps that synagogues can and should take now in anticipation of next year’s security grant application process,” said Rabbi Roizman. “We hope that our synagogues will take advantage of the Young Israel’s ability to serve as a facilitator in this process and work with us to ensure that they are in a position to vie for these valuable security funds.”

Rabbi Roizman noted that the National Council of Young Israel will keep all of its branch synagogues informed of details pertaining to the 2010 Non-Profit Homeland Security Grant as they become available.

{Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}

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