Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America Welcomes Department of Homeland Security Announcement of $180 Million Allocation in Security Grants to America’s Houses of Worship, Day Schools, Summer Camps, Other Nonprofits

Posted on July 21, 2021 In Press Releases

 OU Will Continue Work to Double FY 2022 Allocation to $360 Million

Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (OU), the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, welcomed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ recent announcement that the $180 million in federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) awards for fiscal year 2021 have been allocated to synagogues and other houses of worship, parochial day schools, summer camps and a variety of other nonprofit organizations across the United States.

The allocation for FY 2021 represents a 100 percent increase over the previous year, which was $90 million. Since 2005, when OU Advocacy helped spearhead the creation of the NSGP, Congress has apportioned a total of $599 million for the program. The Orthodox Union is urging Congress to increase NSGP funding for FY 2022 to $360 million.

The latest allocations follow a dramatic surge in anti-Semitic incidents and attacks nationwide. In recent weeks alone, a Chabad rabbi was stabbed in front of a Jewish school in Boston; a Jewish man was attacked on his way to a Brooklyn synagogue; and graves at a Baltimore Jewish cemetery were defaced with swastikas.

Said Nathan Diament, OU Executive Director for Public Policy:
“We in the Orthodox Jewish community are very grateful to DHS Secretary Mayorkas, his DHS team and the Biden Administration for their support for our community’s security. We are also grateful to our allies Congress for bolstering funding for the Nonprofit Security Program, particularly Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fl.), and Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.). We will continue to work with our elected officials to increase the NSGP allocation so that more people may be protected.”

Said OU President Mark (Moishe) Bane:
“We have a responsibility to protect our community, particularly in vulnerable places such as synagogues, schools and so many other foundational institutions. This federal grant funding truly helps us to do that. We can, and must, do everything we can to keep our community – and all faith communities – safe.”

The Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which the OU Advocacy Center helped create in 2005, is administered by the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security and provides grants of up to $150,000 apiece to synagogues and other houses of worship as well as parochial day schools and other nonprofits at risk of terror attacks. The Advocacy Center works closely with legislators each year to increase program funding.

Recipients may use the grants to pay for security improvements to buildings such as acquiring and installing items ranging from fences, lighting and video surveillance to metal detectors and blast-resistant doors, locks and windows. Funding may also be used to train staff and pay for contracted security personnel.