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SECURITY ALERT

Jewish communal groups reiterate concerns about security grant funding cut

At a time of rising antisemitism and threats to the Jewish community, Congress cut funding to help bolster security

Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

United States Capitol building

In a new joint statement on Wednesday, Jewish communal groups again expressed concerns about Congress’ decision last week to cut funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program by more than $30 million in 2024 — by about 10% from the previous fiscal year.

“The cut in NSGP funding presents a significant challenge to the safety of our communities at a time when threats to religious and nonprofit organizations are at a record high,” the Secure Community Network, Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Jewish Federations of North America and Orthodox Union said in the statement.

The funding cut will bring the program down to $274.5 million for the year; it has been severely underfunded for years, only fulfilling 42% of requests in 2023, and applications are likely to increase significantly post-Oct. 7. Jewish groups had been pushing for a significant funding increase, to $500 million.

“The NSGP’s importance has grown in the wake of the horrific events of the October 7th Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel, emphasizing the need for robust security measures in vulnerable communities as incidents against the Jewish community rise across the U.S.,” they said.

They urged Congress to “prioritize additional funding to make the NSGP program whole,” urging that any national security supplemental bill “must include funding for the NSGP and there must be increased funding for NSGP in the FY2025 appropriations bill.”

They also urged organizations, including potential NSGP applicants, to prioritize “preparedness, high-quality application submissions, and the continued advocacy for the protection of all communities against hate and violence.”

The cut has also generated consternation among some supporters of the program on Capitol Hill, who had called for increased funding.

“The Nonprofit Security Grant Program is the single most effective resource for the Jewish community to protect its institutions from harm,” Rep. Kathy Manning (D-NC), a co-chair of the House antisemitism task force, said in a statement last week. “At a time of rising antisemitism, it’s disappointing that this vital funding was cut by more than $30 million, instead of being increased. I will continue working across the aisle to enhance the safety and security of the Jewish community.”

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