The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, which helped spearhead the creation of the federal Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP), applauds this year’s grant recipients announced this week. Among them are 66 Jewish schools and shuls in and around New York alone. Together, they received $5.2 million of the $20 million in grants Congress allocated for the coming year.
The OU Advocacy Center, the non-partisan public policy arm of the OU, helped craft and advocate for the bipartisan legislation together with the Jewish Federations of North America and other coalition partners. The program, administered by the Department of Homeland Security, has awarded nearly $175 million in grants since the NSGP’s inception in 2007, marking the highest funding level ever for the program. The grants enable recipients to make their facilities more secure in the face of possible threats by acquiring and installing items such as fencing, lighting, video surveillance, X-ray and metal detectors, and blast-resistant doors, locks and windows.
Nathan Diament, the Orthodox Union’s executive director for public policy, said:
“As one of the groups that spearheaded the creation of the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, we are pleased so many schools and shuls in our communities will be able to make their students and members safe. The concern about attacks, including a disturbing increase in anti-Semitic incidents and threats, is the very reason OU Advocacy and its partners have advocated so ardently to raise this critical funding to its now record level.”
OU Advocacy spearheads efforts to keep our schools and shuls safe. In recent years, OUA’s achievements include paving the passage of a New York City law that funds security guards at non-public schools, creating funding vehicles for security in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and initiating and growing the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which has given $175 million in grants to non-profit institutions including 1,000+ Jewish schools and shuls.