Dear Friends and Partners of OU Advocacy,
With anti-Semitic incidents and threats of violence on the rise, securing our schools and shuls is more critical than ever—which is why this issue has been at the top of OU Advocacy’s legislative agenda for years.
I am excited to share with you that our persistent advocacy efforts in Congress to improve our community’s safety and security are paying off. The Omnibus Appropriations Bill introduced in Congress yesterday, and expected to pass this week, included a proposed $20 million appropriation for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP)—a program that has helped Jewish day schools and shuls across the country improve their security. OU Advocacy waged an unyielding campaign to increase the NSGP funding from last year’s $13 million allotment and many of you participated by responding to our Action Alerts and writing your federal representatives. Now, together with our Capitol Hill allies, we successfully secured the highest proposed funding level for the program since 2007.
The Orthodox Union spearheaded the creation of the NSGP nine years ago in partnership with the Jewish Federations of North America and other coalition partners. To date, the NSGP has delivered more than $120 million in total funding to Jewish and other nonprofit entities.
Every year, we have fought to ensure this critical program receives sufficient Congressional funding. Unfortunately, the funding for the NSGP dropped over the years from its original level of $25 million and this past year, it was funded at just $13 million. We recognized that $13 million was not enough to keep our community institutions safe and pushed our allies in Congress to boost the funding for the NSGP.
In addition to the $20 million proposed allotment, the Omnibus Appropriations Bill will require the Department of Homeland Security to consider expanding the NSGP to jurisdictions outside the currently existing eligible “Urban Areas” as designated by the Urban Area Security Initiative. The Orthodox Union pushed for this proposal for several years.
We thank our allies in Congress for working to ensure that NSGP will receive the funding it needs and we thank all of our school, synagogue and community leaders who joined our campaign to protect schools and shuls across the country.
We will send more information to our schools and shuls when the application details are released by DHS. If you would like to receive a guide for implementing security protocols at your school or shul, please contact Yehuda Friedman, Associate Director of Synagogue Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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