Tuesday, July 27, 2021

U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer

    On Monday-26-July U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey’s Fifth Congressional visited the Keter Torah in Teaneck. There Congressman Gottheimer announced Nonprofit Security Grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for Fiscal Year 2021. The funding has been awarded to a number of houses of worship, schools, and local community organizations in Northern New Jersey. This will provide security for churches, mosques, temples, religious schools, and other organizations that are at risk of a terrorist attack from homegrown, ISIS-inspired terrorists and white supremacists, groups or individuals.  
    During his presentation Congressman Gottheimer mention some of the specific of this grant. These are to enhance the protection of soft targets and crowded places through operational coordination; public information and warning; intelligence and information sharing; interdiction and disruption; screening, search, and detection; access control and identity verification; physical protective measures; and risk management for protection programs and activities. It also provides for safety and security through security guards, physical security enhancements like closed circuit television security cameras, training, security screening equipment for people and baggage, and access controls like fencing, gates, and barriers. 
   Nissan Clark, the Community Security Service Manager for Rinat Yisreal, and  Deena Seelenfreund, NJ Regional Manager from Community Security Service and Head of Security for Keter Torah, thanked the Congressman for providing this funding. The grant will enable congregations from all faiths to worship in peace without having to worry about their safety and security.  Of the 15 organizations receiving grant funding, five of them are located in Teaneck. 
   Congressman  Gottheimer included other legislation, to  protect fundamental freedoms. These are:  the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which was in response to the nearly 150 percent rise in Anti-Asian hate in 2020. Which I am sure people have seen and read about.  President Biden signed this bill into law, earlier this year and it will make the reporting of hate crimes more accessible at the local and state levels. Along with   National Opposition to Hate, Assault, and Threats to Equality Act, or NO HATE Act, to strengthen federal laws that combat hate speech, threats, and attacks and improve national hate crime reporting.

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photos courtesy of Congressman Gottheimer office

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