Tue 6 September 2022 2.55 pm
Synagogues and other places of worship have come under attack in recent years
Congressman Brian Higgins announced a federal grant totaling $300,000 to Temple Beth Zion in Buffalo and Temple Beth-El in Niagara Falls. Funded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and awarded through the Nonprofit Security Grants Program (NSGP), the grants will support security improvements in nonprofit organizations that pose high risk. terrorist attacks.
“Over the past few years, attacks on places of worship of various faiths have been on the rise,” Higgins said. “They are the target of domestic and foreign terrorists who commit heinous acts such as mass shootings, vandalism, arson and other types of property damage. No one should fear for their safety in the exercise of their Religious Freedoms Federal funding for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will provide local faith-based organizations with the resources needed to help worshipers feel safe practicing their faith in the Western New York community.
Higgins’ team said, “According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2020, 24% of reported hate crimes were committed based on religious bias and 12% were committed against the Jewish faith.”
This year, the DHS program is providing $250,150,000 to support physical and facility-wide security upgrades for nonprofit organizations, such as faith-based organizations, at high risk of terrorist attack. Through the grant program, DHS will help nonprofit organizations secure resources to support and integrate preparedness activities in coordination with broader state and local safety efforts. It is designed to promote collaboration in emergency preparedness between representatives of public and private communities, as well as national and local government agencies.
This year, New York State received $7,617,874 through the NSGP.
Temple Beth Zion will receive $150,000. Founded in 1850, Temple Beth Zion is one of the oldest and largest Reform congregations in the United States and strives to remain an inclusive temple community.
Temple Beth-El will also receive $150,000. It is a Reform Synagogue serving Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Southern Ontario. Temple Beth-El is one of the oldest and most widely used Jewish places of worship in the United States.