New York – New York City Council Speaker Wants FEMA To Pay For Sandy-Damaged Shuls


    Rabbi Avremel Okonov of the Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe (FREE) of Brighton Beach synagogue and community center, survey water damage in the center's school library on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)New York – New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has called upon the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the United States Department of Homeland Security to approve federal aid for those houses of worship which were impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

    In a letter dated Jan 4, 2013 to FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate, Quinn wrote in part, “Churches, synagogues and mosques serve as a bedrock for our citizens and our communities. They not only provide places for people to worship but operate after-school programs, food pantries, and other critical services.” Quinn noted that the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Sandy has severely hindered the ability of houses of worship to re-open and resume their operations.

    Because of the constitutional mandate requiring a separation of church and state, current federal law prevents houses of worship from receiving federal aid as other nonprofit organizations do.

    “Recovery from a natural disaster like Hurricane Sandy isn’t a matter of state sponsoring religion,” the letter states. “It’s a matter of helping those in need after one of the worst natural disasters our country has ever seen. . . Under such extraordinary and painful circumstances, houses of worship should be eligible to receive aid on the same basis as all other non-profits damaged by the hurricane.”

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    10 years ago

    In other western countries in the free world the federal governments pay for the maintenance of buildings and also churches and street cleaning etc . In this wonderful republic the federal nothing

    10 years ago

    This is the worst thing that can happen. Let “laises fare” continue!
    Quinn wnats to feel justified to dictate how we perform metzitza and other religious duties by showing that she trully worries for our religion.

    10 years ago

    First things first! It is GREAT that an influential political figure is urging sorely-needed financial aid to help restore devastated shuls! No one has to vote for her if she runs for Mayor or anything else. Be grateful that someone in power is pushing for so-necessary funding to help demolished shuls get back on their feet! If not, you have their state of disrepair and inability to function on your own short-sighted responsibility!

    10 years ago

    Sounds like this (in a manner of speaking) woman wants to buy some votes. And perhaps with reform and modern so called orthodox she may even succeed.

    10 years ago

    To #6 - What exactly did you mean when you stated “sound like this (in a manner of speaking) woman”. What exactly were you referring to with your provocative statement-her sexual orientation? If so, what did that have to do with her position in this matter? Kindly clarify?