Eleven Young Israel synagogue branches across the United States have been awarded grants totaling $800,000 to beef up their security.
The funding is being provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
According to the announcement by the National Council of Young Israel (NCYI), the 2011 Non-Profit Homeland Security Grants are to be used to purchase equipment for specific “target-hardening” activities. The grant awards, which top off at per applicant, $75,000, include physical security enhancements, inspection and screening system, and security training.
A number of non-Young Israel institutions who also benefited from NCYI assistance received awards as well.
Special synagogue security webinars and training sessions will be held during the high holiday season to help local directors better understand how to increase the protection around their facilities, according to NCYI executive vice president Rabbi Pesach Lerner.
“Being proactive in our ongoing efforts to keep our synagogues and congregants safe is absolutely critical,” Lerner said. “We are extremely pleased that a number of [our] synagogues across the nation will be in a position to enhance their security practices through these much-needed federal funds.”
Six of the branches that received the funding were located in New York; two were located in Florida, one was in Ohio and one was in California.