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Weiner Announces Homeland Security Grants for Queens Jewish Institutions

New York City – Today, Representative Anthony D. Weiner (D- Brooklyn and Queens), a member of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security and a representative from the Rego Park Jewish Center announced that 9 high-risk Jewish institutions in Queens will receive nearly $525,000 in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grants, a 95% increase over 2009.

In Queens, seven Jewish institutions 5 synagogues, 1 Jewish centers and 1 yeshiva received nearly $525,000, which is nearly twice the amount received in 2009. Last year, Queens Jewish institutions received just over $270,000. The additional money came after Rep. Weiner requested increased funding in the House this year.

In total, eighty institutions in the New York City area will receive 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. 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.”

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)

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