In its most recent issue, The New York Jewish Week reports on the OU/IPA’s efforts to secure federal disaster recovery funds for synagogues damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
The report notes:
Currently, FEMA provides grants to a variety of nonprofits, but not houses of worship. The OU, which in 2001 successfully persuaded the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel to include parochial schools in the list of nonprofit organizations eligible for FEMA disaster relief grants and has been instrumental in obtaining government funds to protect Jewish institutions from potential terrorist attacks, is currently in discussions with officials at the Department of Homeland Security (under which FEMA operates) to add houses of worship to the list of FEMA-eligible nonprofits. In a memo issued Tuesday to synagogue leaders in Sandy-impacted communities, Nathan Diament, the OU’s executive director for public policy, said, “We are making progress, but the discussions are ongoing.” In the meantime, the OU, UJA-Federation of New York and Jewish Community Relations Council of New York are encouraging synagogues to begin preparing applications, which must be filed by Nov. 29.
You can read the full story here: http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/new-york-news/fema-pressed-change-law-aid-synagogues.