July 6, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
Congresswoman Grace Meng has announced that $1.6 million in federal funds has been allocated to 16 Jewish facilities in Queens to help with security.
Meng said that the federal funds would help improve security at synagogues and educational institutions following an uptick in hate crimes and anti-Semitic incidents.
Each facility will receive the maximum amount of $100,000 each to pay for enhanced security, Meng said in a statement Thursday.
“It is vital that Jewish facilities have the resources they need to protect themselves, and these critical funds will be a huge help in guarding against attacks here in Queens,” Meng said.
Meng, who is a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, said that a further $118,000 will be split between two Christian facilities in Queens to help meet their security needs.
All funds are allocated through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program. The initiative provides houses of worship and nonprofit entities with funding to protect their property against threats and attacks.
The grants are then administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help bolster physical security by putting up barriers or gates at the facilities. The funds also go toward paying for safety gear, surveillance equipment, and other safety measures.
Meng said she held a workshop in January to help houses of worship and nonprofits learn about the program as part of her efforts to raise awareness about the initiative. The workshop explained how these religious organizations could apply for funding before this year’s March application deadline.
“Many did so and I’m pleased to have worked with several of them to help secure this money,” Meng said.
The workshop followed an attack on a rabbi’s home in Monsey, Rockland County, last December when five people were stabbed. A 72-year-old man was killed in the attack.
Meng said that houses of worship must remain vigilant and not let their guard down.
“Safety and security must continue to be the number one priority, and I remain committed to doing everything possible to ensure that Jewish facilities are protected from those who seek to do harm,” she said.
The 16 Jewish facilities in Queens that were awarded $100,000 each are listed below:
- Reform Temple of Forest Hills
- Young Israel of Hillcrest
- Rabbinical Seminary of America in Kew Gardens Hills
- Young Israel of Queens Valley in Kew Gardens Hills
- Torah Center of Hillcrest
- Forest Hills Jewish Center
- Jewish Center of Forest Hills West in Middle Village
- Shaarey Bnos Chayil Institute in Kew Gardens Hills
- Congregation Ohr Menachem in Forest Hills
- Utopia Jewish Center in Fresh Meadows
- Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills
- Touro College in Forest Hills
- United Talmudical Seminary in Glendale
- Jewish Institute of Queens in Elmhurst
- Bais Yaakov Academy for Girls in Kew Gardens
- Yeshiva of Central Queens in Kew Gardens Hills
Additionally, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Academy in Bayside was awarded $57,000 and the Church on the Hill in Flushing has been allocated $61,004.