In the wake of the fatal Hanukkah attack near a Monsey synagogue, more than $2.5 million in federal funding has been earmarked for strengthening security at nearly two dozen Jewish schools, synagogues and community centers in Rockland and Westchester counties.
The money was secured by U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, D-Harrison, through the Department of Homeland Security's FEMA grants to prepare for and respond to terrorist attacks.
Lowey's requests for the federal grants followed the Dec. 28, 2019, late-night attack by a machete-wielding man on a rabbi's holiday party. Greenwood Lake resident Grafton Thomas has been charged in the attack, which led to the death of Josef Neumann.
The congresswoman came to Ramapo Town Hall days after the attack for a ceremony during which she presented Monsey resident Josef Gluck with a Congressional Certificate for his role in preventing the attack from being even more tragic.
The need for increased security at religious institutions came to the forefront during a rise in anti-Semitic and other hate crimes in the Lower Hudson Valley and across the nation.
Twenty-five organizations in Lowey's 17th Congressional district, which includes all of Rockland and parts of Westchester, will receive $2,565,028.
Funding may be used for security or emergency planning expenses, and for acquiring and installing security equipment.
Rockland grant recipients
- Adolph Schreiber Hebrew Academy, New City - $100,000
- Ateres Bais Yaakov Academy of Rockland, Spring Valley - $100,000
- Beth Medrash Ohr Chaim Inc., Monsey - $100,000
- Chai Lifeline Inc., Monsey - $100,000
- Cheder Chabad of Monsey, Spring Valley - $100,000
- Congregation Chabad Jewish Center of Suffern, Inc., Montebello - $95,000
- Congregation Yeshiva Avir Yakov, New Square - $99,900
- Congregation Yeshiva of Greater Monsey, Inc., Spring Valley - $100,000
- Hebrew Academy for Special Children, Inc., Spring Valley - $100,000
- JCC Rockland Inc., West Nyack - $100,000
- Kehillas Bais Yehudah, Suffern - $100,000
- National Ramah Commission, Inc. branch - $100,000
- Orangetown Jewish Center, Orangeburg, - $100,000
- Tiferes Yisrael, Suffern - $100,000
- Yeshiva of Spring Valley, Suffern - $100,000
- Yeshivas Ohr Reuven, Suffern - $100,000
Westchester grant recipients
- Bet Am Shalom Synagogue, White Plains - $100,000
- Bet Torah, Mount Kisco - $100,000
- Congregation Kneses Tifereth Israel, Port Chester - $100,000
- Congregation Sons of Israel of Ossining, Briarcliff Manor - $100,000
- Congregation Yeshiva Ohr Hameir, Cortlandt Manor - $99,940
- Hebrew Congregation of North Tarrytown and Tarrytown, Temple Beth Abraham, Tarrytown - $100,000
- Jewish Community Center of White Plains, Congregation Kol Ami, White Plains - $90,800
- Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester, Chappaqua - $100,000
- Temple Israel Center, White Plains - $100,000
In addition, the Rockland County Sheriff will receive $22,388 and the Westchester County Department of Public Safety will receive $57,00 through FEMA’s Port Security Grant Program, which funds preparedness for a range of security concerns and cybersecurity capabilities.