Senator Bob Gordon and Assembly members Connie Wagner and Tim Eustace (all D-Bergen/Passaic) on Wednesday announced the awarding of a $75,000 U.S. Homeland Security grant to help bolster security efforts at the Fair Lawn Jewish Center/Congregation B’nai Israel in Bergen County.
The lawmakers noted that the grant is timely in the wake of a rash of synagogue bombings in Bergen County this past winter.
“Our ultimate priority as elected officials is to protect the safety and well-being of our residents so that they can be free to live and worship without fear,” said Gordon. “The federal government has been an active partner in helping to protect and defend our communities from threats like we saw this past year. This funding is certainly welcome and appreciated.”
“We’ve always prided ourselves on being a diverse community, but as we saw last winter, we can never be too vigilant,” said Wagner. “This funding will go a long way towards protecting the law abiding members of our community who wish to unite with others of the same faith in peace.”
“Since 9/11, and even more recently, Bergen County has been no stranger to terror threats,” said Eustace. “But we’ve learned a lot since then, namely that keeping our residents safe requires a constant proactive approach. This grant will certainly help with that goal.”
The Fair Lawn center is one of 13 New Jersey nonprofit organizations that will share nearly $780,000 in federal grants to improve their security under the 2012 Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Nonprofit Security Grant Program.
Among the criteria used by the Department of Homeland Security in awarding the grants is whether the eligible organizations:
- Maintain a site with symbolic value and is a recognized national or historical institution that makes it an attractive target;
- Have a role in responding to or recovering from a terrorist attack;
- Have potential vulnerabilities to attack, especially if documented by a prior risk assessment; and
- Have been the subject of an identified and substantiated attack or closely allied with an organization that has been the subject of an attack by a terrorist organization inside or outside the U.S.