On Friday, September 6, Riverdale and Westchester’s Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) announced that Chabad of Yonkers has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to enhance the security and safety of its facility. Other recent local awardees of this federal security program include Yeshiva Mesivta Menachem in Hastings-on-Hudson, Larchmont Temple and the Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-El.
In a statement released by Congressman Engel, he said, “I’m pleased we were able to advocate this year on behalf of Chabad of Yonkers for this much-needed DHS security funding. The horror we saw with the shootings in Pittsburgh and Poway, sadly, can happen anywhere. Anti-Semitism, racism and bigotry of all kinds have been on a steady rise in recent years and our insufficient gun laws aren’t helping the problem. Some reports show that more than half the hate crimes in the New York City area are anti-Semitic in nature. We have to stay vigilant and this grant will help us do just that.”
Chabad of Yonkers occupies the 13,000-square-foot building of the Greystone Jewish Center on North Broadway and includes two acres of land in northwest Yonkers. In their grant application, proposals were made to make facility and technology upgrades, which will add and enhance security to the property.
“Some upgrades will be obvious and some will happen more behind the scenes. These funds will assist with adding better lighting in the parking lot, something the congressman noted,” Chabad’s Rabbi Mendy Hurwitz stated. “In this day and age, security is necessary and we are very grateful to have been awarded this grant.”
Once funding is released to them, Chabad of Yonkers will have 36 months to document how it spent these funds for the projects that were detailed in the grant application.
“This was our third time applying for the grant,” revealed Rabbi Hurwitz. “I learned about the grant and grant process through conversations with other Chabad colleagues. Any non-profit organization facing risks and threats is entitled to apply for the US Homeland Security Grant. During Sukkot one year ago, Congressman Elliot Engel visited the Chabad of Yonkers. Through conversations with him and his staff, he mentioned how he noticed that the lighting in the parking lot was poor, and asked if he could do anything to assist Chabad improve security conditions on their property. I mentioned to the congressman that we had hoped to improve lighting with funds from a Homeland Security Grant, but our application had been denied twice before. The Congressman then offered: Next time you apply for the grant, stop by my office and see if we can help.” Congressman Engel added, “That’s what I’m here for.”
Rabbi Hurwitz concluded, “As we approach the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, our doors are always open to anyone who wants to join us.”
Additional information about Chabad of Yonkers and their Rosh Hashanah schedule can be found at www.jewishyonkers.com.
By Judy Berger