NYS Governor David A. Paterson today announced that Riverdale Temple and Riverdale Jewish Center will each receive a $25,000 grant to upgrade their security systems. The New York State Office of Homeland Security (OHS) will work with these synagogues to craft and submit a security plan to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In addition, Governor Paterson sent a letter to Congress, requesting an increase in homeland security funding for not-for-profits, including synagogues.
The Governor thanked Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for expediting the funding request from the Governor’s office to allocate fiscal year 2007 federal Urban Area Security Initiative Nonprofit Security Grant Program (UASI NSGP) funds to the two facilities. He also applauded the FBI, NYPD and OHS for meeting with community members at the two Riverdale Synagogues immediately after the plot was foiled to inform them first hand of the events which had transpired. It was at that meeting, within an hour of the arrests of the accused terrorists, that the need for enhanced security at the two facilities surfaced.
“These two congregations stand for the best of our nation’s values – tolerance, liberty and peace. All New Yorkers of every faith should feel safe in their religious sanctuaries,” said Governor Paterson. “In New York, we must maintain a special vigilance. We know firsthand the ravages of terror and we must continue to be proactive about fighting terrorism at the state level. We also know that our State stands as a beacon to freedom-loving people everywhere and we must continue to do whatever it takes to protect our values and the New Yorkers who stand for them.”
Governor Paterson sent the attached letter to both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees urging them to increase funding for the UASI NSGP for fiscal year 2010.
“Last week’s foiled terror attack on these two nonprofit organizations located in the New York urban area demonstrates the heightened risk to nonprofits and the need for additional assistance. Increased funding under the UASI NSGP program would provide vital monies to enable nonprofits targeted because of their symbolic value to implement security measures to mitigate the risk of terrorism,” added Paterson. “I urge Congress to increase UASI NSGP above the $15 million the President’s budget proposes for the program.”
(Eli Gefen – YWN)