The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) announced today that eleven Young Israel branches from across the United States have been awarded 2011 Non-Profit Homeland Security Grants and will receive a total of approximately $800,000 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 addition, a number of non-Young Israel institutions who also benefited from NCYI assistance received awards as well.
The Young Israel branches who received security funding are Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst, NY; Young Israel of Greater Cleveland, OH; Young Israel of Woodmere, NY; Young Israel of Boca Raton, FL; Young Israel of Jamaica Estates, NY; Young Israel of Northridge, CA; Young Israel of West Hempstead, NY; Young Israel of Southfield, MI; Young Israel of the West Side, NY; Young Israel of Hollywood-Ft. Lauderdale, FL; and Young Israel of Wavecrest & Bayswater, NY.
“Being proactive in our ongoing efforts to keep our synagogues and congregants safe is absolutely critical,” said NCYI Executive Vice President Rabbi Pesach Lerner. “We are extremely pleased that a number of Young Israel synagogues across the nation will be in a position to enhance their security practices through these much-needed federal funds.”
The National Council of Young Israel also announced that it will present two informative webinars focusing on synagogue security before the 2011 High Holiday season. In addition, free synagogue security training workshops will be offered to Young Israel shuls located exclusively in the tri-state area.
The first webinar is named “How to Organize and Run an Effective Volunteer Shul Security Team for Shabbat and Yom Tov,” and the second webinar is entitled “Halachic Issues in Using Security Technology on Shabbat and Yom Tov.”
In addition to the special webinars, following the High Holidays, a local non-profit shul security training organization called CSS (Community Security Services) will be offering free security training workshops for Young Israel synagogues located in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
“Over the past few years we have become acutely aware of the increasing need to address security risks in our synagogues, both from terrorists and other vandals and predators,” said NCYI Director of Synagogue Services Rabbi Mordechai Roizman. “A visible security presence has been found to discourage such attacks and a proper security protocol has proven invaluable in mitigating the damage from an attack, should one occur. A well-trained security team offers a safer environment for all congregants, is cost effective, and allows for a rewarding volunteer opportunity.”
“By collaborating with Young Israel synagogues across the United States and leveraging the resources of our branches, we can help foster best practices, promote improved efficiency and effectiveness, and inspire others to develop security teams,” continued Rabbi Roizman.
For the past several years, NCYI has facilitated interactive seminars for its member branches and affiliates about the Non-Profit Homeland Security Grant from its New York City headquarters. The sessions have traditionally focused on how to complete the grant applications and the steps that applicants are required to take in order to be considered for a grant award.
Last year, the National Council of Young Israel, in conjunction with the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, brought together over one-hundred synagogues and not-for-profit organizations for an interactive webinar discussion about the not-for-profit security grants.
In 2010, nine Young Israel branches were awarded non-profit homeland security grants with the assistance of the National Council of Young Israel.
For more information about the upcoming security webinars and training sessions or to learn about next year’s Non-Profit Homeland Security Grant opportunities, contact NCYI Director of Synagogue Services Rabbi Mordechai Roizman by e-mail at email@example.com, or by phone at 212-929-1525 x103.
(YWN Desk – NYC)