Following the heinous antisemitic attack in Jersey City over a year ago on December 10, 2019 and the deadly Chanukah stabbing in Monsey, NY the following December 28, OJPAC embarked on a public information and advocacy effort to secure additional funding for security at vulnerable Jewish institutions. These efforts yielded positive results last year and further allows for institutions to tap into funds this year.
In the aftermath of the two attacks, OJPAC kept stressing that short-term police patrols are just not enough and that sustained efforts by governmental authorities are needed. The efforts by OJPAC played a pivotal role in seeing Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) funds being rolled out at a greater pace. In all, the federal government distributed nearly $6,000,000 in NSPG funds in fiscal year 2020 for Jewish community institutions in New York and New Jersey. A significant portion, about $1.5 million, went to Jewish institutions in Rockland County; the county where the Monsey stabbing attack took place. $800,000 of the grants went for Jewish Community institutions in Kings County; $400,000 in Orange County, and $200,000 in Sullivan county. The total aid for New Jersey was approximately $1.35 million.
“FBI statistics show that 60% of hate crimes in the U.S. in 2019 targeted Jews, and we know that Orthodox Jews faced a large portion of those attacks. The aid reflects a commitment to protect those at risk,” said OJPAC co-founder and Executive Director Yossi Gestetner. “Not all grants for the current Fiscal Year 2021 have been distributed, and nonprofit institutions of all communities are encouraged to tap into it if they are qualified,” Gestetner added.
New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand - whose office led the way on securing additional grants last year - wrote in a statement on January 19th that “the funding allocated by this program will support non-profit organizations most at risk of terror attacks through the acquisition and installation of physical target hardening measures, related preparedness and prevention planning, training, and exercises, and contracted security personnel so that religious and community based organizations have the critical resources and tools they need to protect lives and property.”