UJC: Jewish groups to get $9 million in Homeland Security money

The United Jewish Communities is applauding the release of $15 million in Homeland security money that will go to 227 nonprofits to shore up their security.

The federation system’s umbrella organization estimates that some $9 million of that money will go to Jewish institutions. Since the this program started in 2005, more then $80 million have been distributed, nearly 69 percent of which has gone to Jewish organizations, according to the UJC.

Here is the press release with some more details (Note that the UJC is already trying to adapt to its as yet to be officially adopted new name and calls itself here “UJC/Jewish Federations of North America.”):

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UJC/FEDERATIONS APPLAUDS NONPROFIT SECURITY GRANTS

June 17, 2009

UJC/Jewish Federations of North America hailed the release yesterday of $15 million to 227 nonprofits, including a substantial number of Jewish institutions, through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program.

The federal funds will help bolster the physical security of nonprofit institutions at higher risk of being targeted by  terrorist attacks. Of the 227 grant recipients, 144 are Jewish organizations, such as Federations, JCCs, synagogues, schools, health and human services agencies, and others.

Though no specific dollar amounts were announced, UJC Washington estimates that more than $9 million will go towards Jewish security.

Under the 2009 grant program, nonprofit organizations located in 62 designated high- threat urban areas were eligible to apply for grants to acquire and install physical security enhancements intended to deter and detect terrorists and extremists, such as: blast-proof windows; reinforced doors, locks, gates, and fences; video surveillance; and other equipment and enhancements.  The grants were also available to promote security-related preparedness planning and training.

“The last few weeks have reminded us that we cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to our safety and security as a community,” said William C. Daroff, vice president for public policy and director of UJC/Jewish Federations of North America’s Washington Office.

“If we have learned anything from the foiled attack at the Riverdale synagogues, the Holocaust Museum and elsewhere, it is to remain vigilant. The Nonprofit Security Grant Program is a proven resource that helps supplement the work of local and federal law enforcement to help keep us safe.”

Congress established the Nonprofit Security Grant Program in 2005, at the behest of many of America’s leading nonprofit organizations, including UJC, in recognition that certain segments of the nonprofit sector (including community centers, hospitals, schools, places of worship, and other health, humanitarian, cultural, and civic places of communal life) are considered high value civilian targets by terrorists and radical extremists.

UJC Washington has spearheaded the program since its inception, including the securing of $80 million for the program to date, of which approximately 69 percent has been awarded to Jewish institutions.

The funding announced today is the fourth installment of the program. Earlier this year, President Obama requested that Congress allocate an additional $15 million for the program in the fiscal year 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations bill, the first time since the program’s inception that the president has specifically requested funding.

UJC is working with the grant program’s congressional champions to increase the FY 2010 appropriations to $25 million.

“Congress has been an ardent supporter of this program since day one,” said Daroff.  “We look forward to continuing to work with our congressional champions to bolster security for nonprofits for the long-term.”

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