Congress cuts security funds for synogogues

| March 15, 2012

State Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) took Congress to task this week for cutting funding to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that goes toward beefing up security at Queens synagogues and other nonprofits at risk for terrorist attacks.

Lancman spoke outside of the Israel Center for Conservative Judaism, on 73rd Avenue in Electchester.

“I was shocked and disappointed,” Lancman said, rattling off several synagogues in his district that had previously taken advantage of the funding.

The cut came out of a political impasse that was resolved in December, when funding for the department and other federal agencies was set to run out. The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate hashed out an agreement at the 11th hour for the remainder of this fiscal year, which lasts until October.

The resulting agreement cut funding from $19 million to $10 million, which Lancman said had a serious impact on Queens organizations.

Last year, 270 organizations nationwide used the grants to upgrade their security. They used the money to install surveillance cameras, security doors or hiring additional staff, Lancman said.

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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security

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