WASHINGTON (JTA) — An omnibus spending bill approved by Congress more than doubles spending for security grants that have been overwhelmingly tapped by Jewish institutions.
The $1.3 trillion bill approved Thursday includes $60 million for the security grants, up from $25 million last year. More than 90 percent of the grants have been used to harden security at Jewish institutions since the nonprofit security grant program was launched in 2005.
Nathan Diament, the Washington director of the Orthodox Union, one of the lead advocates for the grants, said a spike in threats on Jewish institutions over the last year drove the increase. According to the Anti-Defamation League, anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. in 2017 increased by 43 percent over 2016, not including a spate of bomb threats carried out against Jewish institutions by a Jewish man in Israel.