Secured $400,000 for the Jewish Community Center’s security upgrade project

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) – Thousands of dollars in capital funding are heading to the Jewish Community Center.

This is all thanks to Erie County Legislator Jeanne Vinal, who was able to secure the $400,000 in funding for the JCC to upgrade the security project on the Benderson Campus.

“There is no security in any of these places because they weren’t built for that. It came at the right time,” District 5 Erie County Legislator Jeanne Vinal said.

Vinal said the move comes as incidents of anti-Jewish bias have increased by 20% since 2021.

“In America and Erie County, we don’t want a problem to arise and we don’t want people not to use JCC, which is really an important part of our community for so many people and so we want people to feel safe and secure and most importantly a group like this one who gives so much more than she gets,” Vinal said.

The JCC works and serves people of all ages, backgrounds, religions and cultures.

Patty Simonson, CEO of the Jewish Community Center, said, “We always praise that our middle name is community.”

With two locations and approximately 300 employees and 3,000 members and visitors per day, this ensures that everyone feels safer.

Simonson said, “We must build our agency’s infrastructure for the safety of members, staff and the community. This is an integral part of helping us do this and keep our facilities safe. We are a community organization. We are not just the Jewish community.”

Jewish community center Patty Simson said the money has been set aside to strengthen their facilities, but could not yet share that plan.

“We are working with local, state law enforcement and Secure Community Network to help us determine what those needs are, along with our facilities and safety director and our community committees,” Simonson said. “As we implement more of these components, people realize that we are taking action and that it is important to them. We are aware of what is happening in our environment, we are aware of what is going on in the community, nationally and internationally, and therefore the emphasis is on us being constantly aware and addressing the issue as we see fit eights for the JCC.”