On February 24th, in a webinar hosted by Agudath Israel’s Yeshiva Services Division, representatives of yeshivos and other Jewish nonprofit organizations across the country, heard a detailed presentation on the process of applying for the 2016 Nonprofit Security Grant Program.

The presenter, Mr. David Pollock, Associate Executive Director, and Director of Public Policy and Security at the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), explained that yeshivos, shuls and other Jewish organizations may apply for grants of up to $75,000 to pay for security equipment, detection and screening systems or security training, to prevent or protect against a terrorist attack. To be eligible, organizations must be located within regions designated by the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI). Twenty million dollars has been appropriated nationwide for this grant.

Mr. Pollock went through the application and advised participants on what they needed to include to be considered for funding. He said that the key to obtaining a grant lies in writing a strong “Investment Justification.” The application must clearly show the terrorist threat to the organization and the means by which the proposed project will help with one of the four “D’s” – deterrence, detection, denial and damage mitigation. Emphasizing the religious aspect of an organization will help, as religious organizations are considered bigger targets. Similarly, an organization that serves children or seniors should mention it. One should be as detailed and forthright in one’s assessment as possible, using authoritative documentation, such as a crime inspection survey from the local precinct.

Mrs. Deborah Zachai, Director of Education Affairs for Agudath Israel of America, said, “In an increasingly dangerous world, yeshivos and other Jewish organizations must take the necessary steps to prevent attacks on their facilities. Armed with the information provided in this webinar, many yeshivos and shuls will now have a better shot at obtaining the funding for important security enhancements to help keep children and adults in our community safe.”

(Author: Judith Dinowitz)