New York City – Today, Representative Anthony D. Weiner (D- Brooklyn and Queens), a member of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan and Queens) and Jewish leaders announced that 80 high-risk non-profit and religious groups in the New York City area will receive more than $5.8 million in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grants, a 40% increase over last year.
Eighty institutions in the New York City area will receive a total of more than $5.8 million from the Department of Homeland Security. The city will receive approximately 31% of the national funding total. The appropriation exceeds last years total by more than 40%, when 61 non-profits in New York City received a total of $4.1 million. In total, New York State will receive just over $6 million.
Weiner has been a leading advocate to bring more Department of Homeland Security grants and federal anti-terror funding to New York City. In 2007, the House of Representatives passed legislation authored by Weiner which requires public disclosure of all anti-terror spending by cities and states.
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, nearly 300 New York City area non-profits have received nearly $23 million in funding.
Within the New York City area, a variety of institutions received funding, including 12 community centers, 6 hospitals, 36 religious schools, 25 synagogues and one church.
This year alone, 32 Brooklyn institutions, including yeshivas, synagogues, Jewish centers, hospitals and schools received more than $2.3 million in security funding. In Queens, nine Jewish institutions received nearly $700,000. Eight Manhattan institutions received $600,000, while the grants will deliver $600,000 to the 8 institutions in the Bronx, and $375,000 to 5 Staten Island institutions.
Organizations 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 more than $73,000, and the funds are expected to be delivered within the next 3 months.
“Over the years, these grants have proved to be vital resources in protecting our religious and cultural institutions,” Weiner said. “Worshipers, museum goers, and hospital visitors expect and deserve a safe environment, and this funding will go a long way towards ensuring their security.”
“New York City remains terrorist target number one. The attempted Times Square attack earlier this yearwas proof positive that terrorists are not just targeting symbols of our financial power or our infrastructure, but our tourist attractions and cultural centers, as well. Thats why the high-threat funding we are announcing today is so important,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney said. “I applaud the leaders who are with us today for their efforts to protect their congregations and students from those who would do America harm, and I thank my good friend and colleague Anthony Weiner for all his hard work and leadership to obtain this vital funding.”
“The terrorist threat against schools, places of worship, and other ‘soft targets’ is very real and we have an obligation to protect them,” said Representative Jerrold Nadler. “Last years attempted bombing of two synagogues in the Bronx is a clear example that we must do more to protect high risk institutions. I applaud the awarding of these grants to high-risk non-profits institutions. This funding will insure that they have the means and protections to safeguard themselves from those who espouse hate and violence.”
“The Kehilath Jeshurun/Ramaz community is grateful for all of Congressman Weiner’s efforts in helping keep our children and families – together with all New Yorkers – safe,” said Ramaz Associate Rabbi Elie Weinstock.
“For Jewish institutions in my district and throughout the country, the terrorist threat is real, ever-present and an enormous financial burden in these difficult times,” said Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Queens). “These grants which Congressman Weiner was instrumental in securing are going where the need is greatest, and will make a real difference in the form of safer and more secure synagogues, yeshivas and community centers that serve tens of thousands of New Yorkers.”
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.
(YWN Desk – NYC)