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More than $500,000 awarded to Bergen Jewish institutions to boost security

Photo Credit: Bergen Prosecutor) INSET: Dalal with Ron Paul
Photo Credit: Bergen Prosecutor) INSET: Dalal with Ron Paul
Photo Credit: Bergen Prosecutor) INSET: Dalal with Ron Paul

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Eight Bergen-area Jewish institutions – four of them in Teaneck — have received more than $500,000 to increase security, in part, because of a series of firebombing attacks in December 2011 and January 2012.

Thirteen New Jersey nonprofit organizations in all will share more than $861,000 in money from the federal grant program, with the bulk of it going to Bergen County.

More than 70 non-profit organizations in New Jersey applied for grants of up to $75,000 each.

Among the local recipients was the Jewish Community Center in Paramus, which Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said was on the list of targets of two men charged in the synagogue firebomb attacks, Anthony Graziano ( above, left ) and Aakash Dalal ( right) .

Last year, program funding went to Congregation Beth El in Rutherford, where the most serious and destructive attack occurred.

This year’s local recipients:

Congregation B’nai Yeshurn (Teaneck): $75,000
Chabad Lubavitch of NW Bergen County (Franklin Lakes): $75,000
Congregation Keter Torah (Teaneck): $75,000
Temple Sinai of Bergen County (Tenafly): $75,000
Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls (Teaneck): $70,000
Temple Emeth (Teaneck): $64,500
Jewish Community Center (Paramus): $49,500
Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey (Paramus): $25,000

( ALSO: See chart below )

It is obviously not prudent to reveal the details of security improvements each applicant said it would make.

However, according to The Jewish Standard of Rockland County, upgraded security cameras and alarms are on the general list, along with security training, better fencing and the type of large, concrete planters often used as protection from vehicles ramming into buildings. Also high on the list is anti-bullet, anti-blast film on ground floor windows, which stops glass from flying in an explosion.

Synagogues and other institutions in Bergen have been working on security plans with the prosecutor’s office and local police, along with a New York-based security firm that focuses on the Jewish community.

“We had the town and the county give us a security evaluation before we applied last year,” Steve Chaiken, who serves on the security committee of Temple Emeth in Teaneck, told The Jewish Standard .

“Teaneck police came in, with a person from the prosecutor’s office and the anti-terrorism unit …. [and] made some suggestions,” Chaiken said. “Some took no money to do, things as simple as not having bushes or shrubbery where people might hide.”

“You can’t do this on your own. You need experts to guide you,” added Pam Ennis, director of community relations of Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls in Teaneck.

DHS allotted $10 million nationwide for 2013 Urban Area Security Initiative Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP). New Jersey received the third-most of any state, Gov. Christie announced more than two weeks ago.

Roughly 90% went to Jewish institutions, according to the Jewish Federations of North America, which has lobbied Congress for it.

“Bolstering security measures at these nonprofit organizations located in the UASI area remains a top priority,” said Edward Dickson, New Jersey’s director of Homeland Security and Preparedness. “Grant funds will be used to target-harden these sites, and will improve the prevention, response and recovery capabilities at these locations throughout the UASI area, which in turn enhances the entire State’s resiliency efforts.”

Dickson said the grant criteria included whether the eligible organizations:

•    Maintain a site with symbolic value and is a recognized national or historical institution that makes it an attractive target;
•    Have a role in responding to or recovering from a terrorist attack;
•    Have potential vulnerabilities to attack, especially if documented by a prior risk assessment;
•    Have been the subject of an identified and substantiated attack or closely allied with an organization that has been the subject of an attack by a terrorist organization inside or outside the U.S.

Dickson said the grant awards, which are up to $75,000 for each organization, must be used for the purchase and installation of physical security equipment or for security-related training for organization personnel.

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Aakash Dalal (MUGSHOT: Bergen Prosecutor) INSET: Dalal with Ron Paul (EXCLUSIVE CLIFFVIEW PILOT PHOTO)

Second man charged in Bergen synagogue firebombing ‘egged on’ other

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More firebombings of synagogues may have been planned

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* * * * * *

Third synagogue firebombing plot brings more charges

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Prosecutor: Manhunt in synagogue attacks leads to lone teen with bike, backpack, bombs

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Rutherford rabbi turns firebomb into seeds of love
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AN OFFICER WRITES : The coward who firebombed the home of Rabbi Rosson Schuman and his family failed to produce the terror, silence or cries for vengeance that such incendiary devices are meant for. No. The hateful act offered the Rutherford rabbi an opportunity to deliver a message that is as important now as ever. READ MORE….

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Man wanted for questioning in Rutherford firebombing

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Bias attacks prompt unprecedented Bergen County 24-hour joint patrols

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Bergen County’s top public safety leaders each told CLIFFVIEW PILOT that unprecedented 24-hour patrols of Bergen County’s religious and ethnic community facilities will continue for the indefinite future, amid a manhunt for whoever is responsible for throwing a Molotov cocktail through the window of a Rutherford rabbi’s bedroom. READ MORE….

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Arsonists targeted Rutherford rabbi with Molotov cocktails, authorities believe

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