Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Brooklyn and Rockland institutions now eligible for snow reimbursements

FEMA just added four new counties to their original disaster declaration resulting from the December 26th blizzard, including Columbia, Dutchess, Kings and Rockland counties. See their announcement here.Qualifying nonprofits may receive an 87.5% reimbursement of their direct and documented snow removal costs.

Although there may be an extension of the deadline, organizations should work under the assumption that initial paperwork must be submitted by April 6th. To start the process, download two short forms: a Request for Public Assistance (PDF) and a PNP Facility Questionnaire (PDF). Fill them out and submit them by post or fax.
  • Mail. Public Assistance Section, NY State Office of Emergency Management, 1220 Washington Ave, Bldg 22, Suite 101, Albany NY 12226-2251.
  • Fax. (518) 322-4984
See more information and details on our previous posting here. If you have further questions check out the Disaster Fact Sheet (PDF) and the Applicant Handbook (PDF). If you still have questions email Shannon Green at the NY State Office of Emergency Management (

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Another stopgap measure? Draft your responses now.

Pressure is growing in Congress for House and Senate leaders to resolve their differences on a long-term spending bill for FY2011. 

The sixth and likely final short-term stop-gap spending measure (Continuing Resolution) for FY2011 is expected to be approved and signed into law by the President by the end of this week.  It will remain in effect until April 8th.

The parties appear to be about $30 billion apart on spending cuts for FY2011.  They will need to bridge this gap during the 3 weeks allotted for in the CR.  Once the President signs the bill there probably will be an abbreviated application period for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program. We are, therefore, advising interested communities and institutions to take advantage of the pending 3-week period to complete or update required risk assessments and to draft initial application responses, utilizing last year’s (FY2010) program guidance. We want to ensure that people optimize their drafting time and minimize the potential down time that might occur during the Passover Holiday.

The Jewish Federations of North America and JCRC have both established web sites with last year’s guideline materials for your immediate use.  We shall update these materials and post new ones, as additional details regarding the specific FY2011 guidelines become available.  Modifications can always be made to draft applications once the FY2011 guidelines are published by the Department of Homeland Security.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Funds available for Dec 26 blizzard snow removal

New York State recently received a disaster declaration for the blizzard/snow event that occurred on December 26th, 2011. Qualifying organizations affected by the blizzard will be reimbursed for 87.5% of their direct and documented snow removal costs covering a 48 hour period between December 26-27 (you might be able to choose a 48 hour period which includes part of December 28th). The costs must be deemed reasonable and necessary to qualify.

  • Should my organization apply for reimbursement? Add up your direct and documented snow removal costs, such as overtime, temporary employees, contractors, equipment rental and ice melter. The process will take some paperwork so your organization will have to determine whether you have sufficient expenses to warrant the work involved.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Jewish groups mobilizing response to Japan quake

JTA: The Global News Service of the Jewish People

By Uriel Heilman · March 11, 2011

(JTA) – Jewish organizations are mobilizing their responses to the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on Friday.
IsraAid, an Israel-based coordinating organization for 17 Israeli and Jewish humanitarian groups, said Friday that it has two teams of rescue personnel, emergency medical officers and water pollution specialists ready to deploy to Japan but was looking for ways to reach the affected area.

Because the airports in the affected area are flooded and Tokyo-area airports closed on Friday, IsraAid said it was exploring the possibility of flying to a nearby country and then trying to make it to northeast Japan, where the tsunami has killed hundreds and devastated cities and towns.

“We’re in touch with local groups to check the situation in the area,” Shachar Zahavi, chairman of the group, told JTA in a telephone interview. “We’re trying to get to the closest airport and then get to the affected area from there.”

The Chabad-Lubavitch movement reported that its emissary in Tokyo said the Jewish community there largely was spared any serious injury or damage from the 8.9-magnitude quake that rocked the city Friday morning. The Israeli Foriegn Ministry said late Friday that some 25 Israelis in Japan still had not contacted family or embassy officials to report on their safety.

ZAKA, the Orthodox-led rescue and recovery organization, announced Friday that it would send a search-and-rescue team to Japan as soon as Shabbat in Israel ended.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would help in whatever way possible.

The Japanese consul in Israel, Mitoshiko Shinomya, told the Israeli news website Ynet that he was heartened by the Israeli government's offer of assistance. "Israel officially offered its help an hour after the earthquake struck,” Shinomya said. “It is very heart-warming, but at this point we do not know exactly what the extent of the damage is, so it is difficult for us to say what can be done.”

The Jewish Federations of North America set up an emergency relief fund to help those in affected areas and urged local federations to do the same. “We are determined to provide emergency relief as quickly as possible and to work with our partners to provide support over the longer term as well," said Fred Zimmerman, chairman of the Jewish Federations' Emergency Committee.
The organization said it is working with its partner the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which also started a Japan/Pacific disaster relief fund, to support relief efforts.

"JDC is now conducting an up-to-the-minute assessment of the situation in Japan and the Pacific Rim and has activated its network of partners to determine critical, immediate needs of the hardest-hit areas," the JDC said in a statement Friday.

B'nai B'rith International and the Orthodox Union also established an eqarthquake emergency fund. A spokesman for American Jewish World Service, which played a leading Jewish role in responding to the massive 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that devastated parts of Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka, said it would not be responding to the Japan tsunami because AJWS, which works in the developing world, does not have any partner organizations in Japan.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Still no budget, still no grant process

Rob Goldberg's latest budget and appropriations activities update:

The current fiscal year (FY2011) budget remains unfinished -- a delay of nearly 6 months and counting.  Until the process is completed, the Department of Homeland Security will not commence the next round of the Nonprofit Security Grant Program.  Through the current temporary spending measure that is in place, which expires on March 18, the NSGP program is being funded at $19 million.  However, this amount could change as the process remains fluid.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is working with the Jewish community of Christchurch, New Zealand to aid survivors of the city’s devastating earthquake. JDC funding will contribute to Christchurch Jewish community efforts to repair a damaged local synagogue and homes, replace household goods, provide financial stipends and temporary relocation costs, and support community-service or children’s programs for the wider community.

“As we extend our deepest sympathies to the families of Christchurch locals and Israelis lost in the earthquake, we‚re cooperating with the Jewish community to ensure that people on the ground can start to rebuild their lives. As we have done in the past, JDC is delivering much-needed assistance to Jews and others in the wake of a disaster” said JDC CEO Steven Schwager.

In addition to lost property, damaged homes, and businesses, the Jewish community’s synagogue was damaged and the Chabad House was destroyed by the 6.3 earthquake that struck on February 22. Christchurch, New Zealand‚s second largest city, is located in the Canterbury Province which is home to 600 Jews. Jewish settlement in the region dates back to the early 1860’s.

“It means a lot to us to know that we are not forgotten, even though we are just a small community far away” said Bettina Wallace, acting president of the Canterbury Hebrew Congregation.