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Vegas synagogue awarded $75,000 security grant

WASHINGTON — The government is sending more than $4.7 million in homeland security funding to Nevada this year.

It announced Friday it also is giving $75,000 to help a Las Vegas synagogue build new fencing and protections as it expands in Summerlin.

Temple Sinai was awarded the money through a program that backs churches, mosques, religious organizations and other nonprofits believed “at high risk of terrorist attack” in cities also deemed to have risk, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

After being left off the “urban area security” list last year, Las Vegas was restored and given a $1 million grant earlier this year after heavy lobbying by state officials and the Nevada congressional delegation. Another $3.7 million was allocated for state preparedness and anti-terrorism programs.

This year $13 million in nonprofit security grants was spread among 38 metropolitan areas.

Temple Sinai, which applied for the funding through the state, was the only recipient in Nevada.

Rick Hollander, immediate past president of the 7-year-old reform congregation, said the funding coincides with a $6 million expansion to be completed this summer. The project will double the education and worship space in the temple complex serving 350 families.

“The reality for today’s Jewish institutions obviously is safety first , and we put a lot of focus on the whole campus for security,” Hollander said. The grant will be spent on fencing and motorized gates around the complex on Hillpointe Road.

“We just have to be on guard all the time,” Hollander said. “There are isolated things that happen. Our main priority is not so much the building but we do have a full-time preschool and daycare on the property and we always have to be safe for our congregants and students.”


Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at stetreault@stephensmedia.com or 202-783-1760. Find him on Twitter: @STetreaultDC.

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