The Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes grant program was founded as an innovative measure by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2017. In 2019, Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein’s first year in office, he spearheaded a campaign to expand the program to include summer camps as eligible recipients. As a result, summer camps may now be eligible to receive as much as $250,000 in grant funding for security upgrades such as surveillance cameras, perimeter lighting, alarm systems, fencing and barriers, security doors, and other safety measures.On Thursday, Assemblyman Eichenstein hosted a workshop for summer camps where experts shared guidance on how to apply for the New York State Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes grant program and acquire the necessary funding to ensure a safer and more secure school and camp environment. Nearly 150 representatives of summer camps and yeshivas attended this informative workshop and were appreciative to Assemblyman Eichenstein for bringing together a panel of experts to assist and inform them in our collective pursuit of making our institutions safer.
The workshop program included an abundance of useful and constructive information. Participants included Michael Snow, Director of Jewish Affairs for Governor Andrew Cuomo and Shelley Wharlich, Director of the Grants Program for the NYS Division of Homeland Security. A representative from Grants Gateway discussed the grant prequalification process, and Daren C. Scott, Director of Administration at the Hebrew Free Loan Society offered information on how to obtain a no-interest bridge loan to upgrade security without delay.
A camp security expert shared insights on how best to benefit from security upgrades and David Pollock, Associate Executive Director at the JCRC, reviewed methods of assessing institutional vulnerability. Additionally, representatives of the US Department of Homeland Security presented on security preparations that all institutions can undertake.
“There is nothing more gratifying than seeing the fruits of our labor,” said Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein. “Today, we are being proactive and setting the process in motion so that this funding will be utilized quickly, efficiently, and effectively. The overwhelming response to this workshop indicates that our institutions take safety and security seriously, especially in light of recent events. I will do everything I can to help these institutions protect our children.”