The US Department of Homeland Security awarded eight Jewish nonprofit organizations in New York State nearly $575,000 to improve their security against acts of terrorism, US Congresswoman Kathleen Rice said in a statement on Monday.
"Preventing and preparing for acts of terrorism and other emergency situations is always a collaborative effort, and one of the most effective things we can do at the federal level is help vulnerable or high-risk institutions harden their facilities and enhance their emergency response capabilities," Rice said.
The DHS awarded the funds through its fiscal year 2016 Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which provides funding for security enhancements to nonprofit organizations that are at a high risk of terrorist attacks.
The eight organizations include the Congregation Aish Kodesh in Woodmere, the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach, the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway, the Merrick Jewish Centre, Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst, Young Israel of Oceanside, Yeshiva of South Shore in Hewlett and the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County.
"At a time when synagogues and other houses of worship have become targets for terrorists, the opportunity this grant affords us to enhance the security of our building will make a big difference for the members of our community who gather here regularly," Rabbi Charles Klein of the Merrick Jewish Centre said.
Anti-Semitic assaults across the United States increased more than 50 percent in 2015 compared with the previous year, according to a June 2016 report issued by the Anti-Defamation League.