Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America – the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization – commended Governor Bob Ehrlich of Maryland for his continued commitment to providing federal homeland security funds administered by the state to Jewish community institutions for the purpose of upgrading their physical security in the face of potential terrorist threats.
This afternoon in Annapolis, Gov. Ehrlich will announce $1 million in new homeland security funding for 34 non-profit institutions in Maryland, including many Jewish institutions in Baltimore including: the Shomrei Emunah and Ner Tamid Greenspring Valley synagogues as well as to the Talmudical Academy and Bais Ya’akov schools. The Bais Yaakov Middle School holds special significance in this funding announcement. Governor Ehrlich was inspired to fund at-risk Jewish institutions after learning of a suspicious incident where a Saudi national was seen video taping the school during the Fall of 2003.
The availability of these federal homeland security funds for grants to at-risk non-profits comes from a successful effort mounted last year by the UOJCA and a coalition of non-profit organizations to have the U.S. Congress appropriate $25 million toward this specific purpose.
Nathan Diament, public policy director for the Union, stated: “The Jewish community is deeply appreciative of Gov. Ehrlich’s ongoing commitment to protecting our community’s institutions. Gov. Ehrlich has been the trailblazer in this arena as the first governor in the nation to make federal homeland security funds administered by a state available to secure the safety of Jewish institutions. We hope that other state and local governments will follow his example and provide funding to secure their at-risk Jewish institutions as well. We thank Gov. Ehrlich for his outstanding and continuing support.”