Agudah Calls To Urge House Members To Support Increased Security Funding


congressBy Rabbi Abba Cohen, Vice President for Federal Affairs at Agudath Israel

Amid the recent violence, we must redouble our efforts to urge our government to do all in its power to protect its citizens and institutions against any and all terrorist threats. The Jewish community has a particular stake in this issue as it is no secret that we are a vulnerable and high risk target.

One vitally important means that Agudath Israel and others have pursued over the years to help safeguard our nation and our community is to urge Congress to increase the allocation for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP), which provides funding to acquire cameras, concrete barriers, reinforced doors and other such security enhancements for non-profit institutions, in selected cities, at high risk of terrorist attack. Shuls, yeshivosand other Jewish community institutions have been among the major beneficiaries of the program over the years.

Toward this end, we have successfully worked to increase FY 2016’s Senate NSGP appropriation to $25 million – the original allocation for the program in 2005. And, now, on the House side, we are encouraging support for a bi-partisan letter, circulated by Representatives Peter King (R-NY) and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), urging members to match the Senate appropriation. Given the increasing terrorist threat, the current funding level of $13 million for NSGP is simply not enough to adequately secure American institutions. The increase will help provide more security to more institutions in more communities – enhanced protection that our nation urgently needs.

Please urge your Member of Congress to support this request and to sign on to the King-Pascrell letter. Click here to find the letter and here to find contact info for your representatives.
To sign the letter, congressional offices should contact either Jamie Matese in Representative King’s office at (202) 225-7896, or Dylan Sodaro in Representative Pascrell’s office at (202) 225-5751,  Signatures should be in by COB, December 1.
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