Several religious charitable organizations turn to federal funding for increased security measures

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Religious nonprofits in the Hudson Valley are turning to federal funding to increase security at schools and houses of worship.

The grant funding will be used to harden security and emergency preparation for organizations at risk of attack. The resources will also be available to all nonprofits, not just religious-based organizations.

According to the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s office is arranging a workshop in Rockland County for nonprofits to become familiarized with federal security grants.

"You want to make sure that your staff is adequately trained on how to handle an attack,” says Yossi Gestetner, of the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council.

Funding the advance in security measures could cost a large amount of money. For instance, it could cost thousands of dollars for a complete building assessment and to replace items like doors and locks. One full-time security guard could cost $100,000 per year.

In the meantime, Rabbi Moshe Schwab, dean of a yeshiva in Spring Valley, is doing all he can to keep his students safe, saying in part, “…we put in cameras, we've put in the locks on the front door, but it's barely enough.”

Although a workshop date has not been confirmed, News 12 is told Sen. Gillibrand assisted in securing $90 billion for the 2020 fund, and plans to fight for more money.

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