Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, applauded the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee for approving a proposal to maintain the funding allocation for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) at $20 million for fiscal year 2017.
The Orthodox Union was among the groups that spearheaded the creation of the NSGP in 2005 to assist synagogues, Jewish day schools and other nonprofits at risk of terror attacks to make their buildings more secure. To date, the NSGP has delivered more than $150 million to Jewish community institutions. In previous years, the annual funding level for the NSGP has been decreased, but was raised to $20 million for FY 2016.
In the face of a rise in anti-Semitic incidents and threats, the Orthodox Union and its coalition partners have been working with partners in Congress on this important initiative. The Appropriations Committee, chaired by Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), approved the NSGP as part of the overall Homeland Security Bill by a vote of 30-0.
The vote comes two days after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Subcommittee—chaired by Sens. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) as ranking member—approved the $20 million funding level for FY 2017. The bill will next be considered by the House and Senate.
Nathan Diament, Orthodox Union executive director for public policy, issued the following statement:
“The Jewish community expresses its deep appreciation to the senators who approved the substantial funding increase for protecting America’s nonprofits, and particularly those in the Jewish community. We have seen a disturbing rise in threats and attacks on community institutions and, when finalized, the funds provided under the NSGP will not only keep our community safer, but they will also be a statement of solidarity and support in the face of such threats.
“We extend our deepest appreciation today to Chairman Cochran as well as to DHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Hoeven for hearing our concerns and leading this effort. We also express our gratitude to DHS Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Sen. Shaheen, as well as longtime NSGP champion and Appropriations Ranking Member Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) for their steadfast support.”