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$400 million boost in federal funds coming for security at places of worship

This comes as concerns rise over the threat against Jewish and Muslim communities amid the war overseas.

Thema Ponton

May 6, 2024, 9:51 AM

Updated 20 days ago

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A boost in federal funding is on its way for places of worship.
Sen. Chuck Schumer announced that $400 million in grant money will be available for security.
This comes as concerns rise over the threat against Jewish and Muslim communities amid the war overseas.
Long Island religious leaders tell News 12 that protecting worshippers is a priority.
Waiel Hussein, with the Islamic Center of Melville, says they would use the grant money to upgrade their existing security.
"We hope to gain additional security with safer, better locks and cameras of course, but also in other areas like cybersecurity." Hussein said.
As News 12 reported and showed in video taken from inside the Islamic Center of Melville, Endler is accused of storming inside, marching around and demanding the Israeli hostages be released by Hamas.
There were numerous requests for him to leave.
Hussein told News 12 Monday that, "Safety for our congregants, our worshippers and the students that we have at the Sunday school is paramount, it's our number one concern."
Rabbi Michael Stanger, of The Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation, said it is also thinking about making changes to its security.
"It's eating into our budget; we've had to increase security threefold since Oct. 7," he said.
Stanger says they already have cameras and guards in place and the grant money would likely be used to make other changes.
"I would never have thought about this, you know a decade ago, (but maybe) bullet-proof glass, bullet-proof doors, these are some things we need to look at seriously, possibly even having gates," he says.
Sen. Charles Schumer says places like synagogues and mosques could use the federal money to hire security personnel or install cameras.
Houses of worship will need to apply by May 21 to tap into the first round of funds.
Click here to apply.


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