Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America Applauds Homeland Security Grants to Jewish Institutions: Vulnerable synagogues and day schools to upgrade their security

Posted on August 24, 2011 In Press Releases

The Orthodox Union (Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America) – the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization – through its Institute for Public Affairs, applauded the awarding of $19 million in security grants to nonprofits, including many Jewish institutions, by the Department of Homeland Security. The awards, announced today, are an important tool to help prevent terrorist attacks and protect civilians in case of such attack.

The Orthodox Union has worked since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 with other key partners in the Jewish community, including the Jewish Federations of North America, as well as concerned elected officials, initially to create, and now to continue and strengthen the nonprofit grants program. To date, the program, part of DHS’s Urban Area Security Initiative has provided approximately eighty million dollars to vulnerable nonprofits, including many in the Jewish community. The program awards are risk based on the likelihood of a terrorist attack and/or the target’s symbolic or historic value. The Institute for Public Affairs was pleased and proud to work with OU member institutions in preparing applications to the grant program.

Dr. Simcha Katz, President of the Orthodox Union said:

We have sadly been reminded many times over that Jewish synagogues and institutions are high-profile targets for terrorist attack, and often lack the resources needed to secure their buildings and those who pray and study within them. We are grateful to the United States Congress and the Department of Homeland Security for recognizing these needs and for this much needed aid to synagogues and other Jewish organizations. We are also proud that the OU, through our Institute for Public Affairs, played a key role in the appropriation and distribution of these funds.

Nathan J. Diament, OU Director of Public Policy stated:

The Orthodox Union deeply appreciates the assistance our community will receive to keep our members safe. In addition to DHS staff and the administration, we are grateful to the Members of Congress who pressed for this program, even in a difficult budget year, and in particular, to the Senators and Congressmen who have partnered with us on this critical program.