Contact: Roslyn Singer
Director of Communications, OU Advocacy
Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, applauded the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Homeland Security for approving a proposal to increase the funding allocation for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) to $25 million for Fiscal Year 2016.
The Orthodox Union was among the groups that spearheaded the creation of the NSGP in 2005 to assist synagogues, day schools and other nonprofits in the Jewish community and beyond to make their buildings more secure in the face of possible attacks. The NSGP has delivered more than $130 million to Jewish community institutions since its inception. In recent years, the annual funding level for the NSGP has been decreased; this year it was funded at $13 million.
In the face of a rise of anti-Semitic incidents and threats, the Orthodox Union and its coalition partners have been pressing Congress to return the funding for the NSGP to its original $25 million level. The Orthodox Union made this request a central issue in its National Leadership Mission to Washington just two weeks ago. Today, the DHS Appropriations Subcommittee—chaired by Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) and with Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) as ranking member—approved this requested funding level in the FY16 funding bill. The full Appropriations Committee will vote on the bill on Thursday.
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 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 Subcommittee Chairman Senator Hoeven for hearing our concerns and leading this DHS appropriations effort. We also express our gratitude to Ranking Member Sen. Shaheen, as well as our longtime NSGP champion and Appropriations Ranking Member Sen. Mikulski (D-MD), and Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) for their steadfast support.”