Chabad synagogue receives $100,000 federal grant to improve security

The funding was granted by the US Federal Department of Homeland Security.

September 8, 2019 23:38
1 minute read.
A San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputy secures the scene in Poway, California

A San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputy secures the scene of a shooting incident at the Congregation Chabad synagogue in Poway, north of San Diego, California, U.S. April 27, 2019. (photo credit: JOHN GASTALDO/REUTERS)

A Chabad synagogue in Yonkers, New York, has received $100,000 to improve its security infrastructure.

The funding was granted by the Federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Several initiatives to increase public funding available to places of worship for the purpose of strengthening security measures have recently been promoted in the US, at both the state and federal levels. The need for such measures became even more apparent after fatal shootings targeted synagogues in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 2018 and Poway, California, in April.

Chabad of Yonkers Rabbi Mendy Hurwitz expressed his gratitude to Congressman Eliot Engel, who represents parts of the Bronx and Westchester County, where the synagogue is located.

"For the past two years, Chabad of Yonkers applied for the homeland security grant, the rabbi said. "Both times we weren't approved for the grant.

"I reached out to our Congressman and he told me, when you will re-apply for the grant, reach out to me and we will assist you in any way possible because 'that's what I'm here for.' This time when I reapplied, I reached out to the Congressman's office and he and his staff were extremely helpful. We were approved for the grant," he added.

"I'm pleased we were able to advocate this year on behalf of Chabad of Yonkers for this much needed DHS security funding," Engel said. "The horror we saw with the shootings in Pittsburgh and Poway, sadly, can happen anywhere."

"Anti-Semitism, racism, and bigotry of all kinds have been on a steady rise in recent years and our insufficient gun laws aren't helping the problem. Some reports show that more than half the hate crimes in the New York City area are antisemitic in nature. We have to stay vigilant, and this grant will help us do just that," he added.

According to a press release, the funding will be used to add fencing, lighting, windows, alarms, a panic button, security cameras and a security guard.

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