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For Immediate Release: Contact:
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2010 Corey Bearak
(718) 343-6779

Testimony to NYS Office of Homeland Security Presented by Gail Eisenberg, Executive Director and Drafted by Corey B. Bearak, Chair 

On behalf of Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council, thank you for this opportunity to present some concerns of synagogue and other Jewish community institutions on the need to improve security needs and protect against the risks of attacks by terrorists. My name is Gail Eisenberg and I serve as Executive Director of this an association of synagogues and other religious, education, fraternal and community organizations, covers Bay Terrace, Bayside, Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Holliswood, Hollis Hills, Jamaica Estates, Little Neck, New Hyde Park, Oakland Gardens and Queens Village (north). Thank you also to State Senator Toby Stavisky and Assembly Member Rory Lancman for passing the legislation that requires the NYS Office of Homeland Security to study this important concern. NEQJCC maintains its office at the Samuel Field Y in Little Neck. Our meetings and activities at the Y and those of our community institution members frequently get publicized on our website, www.NortheastQueensJewish.org. No one would suggest we not promote our community building, community education and community service programs, all intended to the benefit of the community. 

As a result, those who might want to harm us or our members or those who visit us, can find us, including when we have events that attract significant participation. The Y already instituted certain security measures that enables it to employ and prevent a vehicle attack; and that does not mean we do not want to do more. Most of our institutions, however, lack the basic site layout that enables the Y to protect against a vehicle attack. Our buildings offer easy curbside access, even without driveways. Many find bustops outside their doors or just across the street. 

In addition to site issues, broader proximity issues provide concern. The major airports in our borrow and the ease of access from both to our community. The diversity of Queens which allows potential bad actors to disappear into the community. The Y, which hosts our program, and the many members schools and congregations in our Council all serve our most vulnerable New Yorkers, our youth and our seniors. This makes it more important to ensure adequate security measures are provided for. Our Council also developed a Harmony initiative (�Hi�) to bring together the borough's diverse groups. As such it remains essential that the Council not operate from fear and feel totally safe to reach out to groups in our community. We look to the study for help and guidance. Thank you. 

[Read more about the study and survey here]




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