House subcommittee proposes $305 million for nonprofit security grants for 2025

Some Jewish community advocates say the proposal fails to keep pace with the current moment and the vastly expanded threats to the Jewish community

MARCO BELLO/AFP via Getty Images

A Miami Beach police patrol drives past Temple Emanu-El synagogue in Miami Beach, Florida, on October 9, 2023, after Hamas launched an attack on Israel.

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security on Monday proposed providing $305 million for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program in 2025 — the same amount provided for the program in 2023, despite a massive increase in demand and a significant spike in antisemitism since Oct. 7.

The program, which provides religious institutions and nonprofits with funding to improve their security, was cut to $275 million in 2024, but was supplemented with an extra $400 million in the national security supplemental bill. 

This year is expected to see record funding requests for the program, which funded just 42% of requests at the $305 million funding level in 2023. Requests for funding in 2024, following the Oct. 7 attack and ensuing wave of antisemitic hate crimes, have surged in recent months.

A bipartisan group of 120 House lawmakers supportive of the program recently requested that the House appropriate $385 million for the NSGP. A group of Senate Democrats requested $400 million. Jewish groups had requested $500 million for the program for 2024, on top of any funding in the supplemental package.

Chairmanship of both the House Appropriations Committee as a whole and the Homeland Security subcommittee both turned over in recent months, after last year’s Appropriations bill was finalized. Rep. David Joyce (R-OH), the former subcommittee chair, was seen as an advocate for the NSGP.

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), who co-led the letter calling for $385 million in funding, offered a positive outlook on the situation.

“This flat funding for the NSGP is less than we sought, but combined with the recent supplemental funding we secured will go a long way to meeting the rising challenge of threats and extremism,” Pascrell told Jewish Insider. “My colleagues and I, as always, will keep pushing to win every possible dollar for NSGP in the final appropriations bill. None of us are asleep to the dangers that are out there, particularly against our Jewish communities.”

Jewish community groups that advocate for the NSGP called the proposed funding level inadequate to meet current needs, while pledging to continue pushing for greater funding as the Appropriations process moves forward.

“With the unprecedented spike in antisemitism and threats to Jewish institutions in the wake of the Oct. 7 massacre in Israel, Jewish and nonprofit institutions need sufficient resources to secure themselves against the rising tide of threats and violence,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement to JI. “We are disappointed to see the funding level for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program in the House Homeland Security Appropriations Bill.”

Karen Paikin Barall, the vice president of government relations for the Jewish Federations of North America, highlighted the shortfalls in 2023 at the $305 million funding level. She emphasized that the program has proven itself in communities across the country and saved lives.

“The same $305 million funding level from that year does not suffice in the post-October 7th world, in which Americans are experiencing the most intense upsurge in antisemitism in a generation,” Barall said in a statement to JI. “While we appreciate the increase from 2024’s reduced levels, Jewish Federations will continue to strongly urge Congress to lead by example and do everything within its power to fully fund this critical program for 2025 to protect the Jewish community and all vulnerable communities facing down violent extremism and antisemitism.”

Nathan Diament, the Orthodox Union’s executive director for public policy, called the bill a “starting point for this process.”

“Of course, in the context of the current crisis of antisemitism in the U.S., we are disappointed that they set the NSGP at the [fiscal year 2023] level. But this year, at the end of the process, we more than doubled NSGP to $675 million,” Diament told JI. “The crisis — and the cost to the Jewish community — of antisemitism has not waned and we will work aggressively to have Congress provide the resources our community will need in [fiscal year 2025].”

Rabbi Abba Cohen, the vice president of government affairs for Agudath Israel of America, told JI that the funding allocation is “deeply disappointing.”

“It’s a boost from last year but it brings us back to 2023 levels, which weren’t nearly enough even then,” Cohen said. “As the world has dramatically changed over the past two years and the levels of antisemitism have skyrocketed, it is time for a serious and sustained boost in NSGP funding, not mechanically subject to across-the-board cuts.”

“The disappointment is compounded by the fact that there has been strong bipartisan support for much higher levels of security grant funding,” Cohen continued. “Beginning at these levels makes one wonder whether there is a full understanding and appreciation of the hatred and threat the Jewish community genuinely faces.”

The Homeland Security subcommittee meets on Tuesday to debate and vote on the bill. Congress may not finalize funding levels for 2025 until after the new year and the presidential inauguration.

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