FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 21, 2012
Contact: Nathan Diament
Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America – the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization – welcomed the announcement by the Department of Homeland Security that it is allocating $10 million for grants to non-profit organizations, including faith-based entities, for security upgrades under the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP).
The Orthodox Union, together with the Jewish Federations of North America and other non-profit sector advocates, spearheaded the creation of the NSGP in 2005. Since then, the program has delivered nearly $100 million in federal grants to synagogues, schools, community centers, museums, hospitals and other non-profit institutions in major urban areas that are deemed at risk of violent attack. The grants are used for physical security upgrades such as fencing, bollards, security cameras and more, as well as training. The NSGP was created with bipartisan congressional support led by Senators Barbara Mikulski, Susan Collins and Joe Lieberman as well as Representatives Eric Cantor and David Price.
While the allocation of $10 million is a lower allocation than in recent years, the Department was contending with severe cuts made by Congress to its overall grants budget for the current fiscal year.
Nathan Diament, the Orthodox Union’s executive director for public policy, issued the following statement:
“The Orthodox Union, and the entire Jewish and non-profit communities, are grateful to Secretary Napolitano and her staff, as well as key staff at The White House, who worked with us to navigate this difficult budget environment to protect the community’s security needs. Recent events have acutely reminded us that the Jewish community and our institutions are eyed by those who would do harm to the innocent. The NSGP is a very important tool in defending our citizens. We are also grateful to the Obama Administration for working with us to identify other means by which the DHS and state law enforcement agencies can secure and protect our community and compensate for the budget cuts imposed by Congress. We will work with our partners in our ongoing partnership to implement these additional strategies and keep our community safe.”