By Judith Dinowitz
Agudath Israel expressed gratification at the news that due to the 55% increase in appropriations for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP), 81 new institutions across the United States received funding in 2016. This represents a 40% increase in the number of institutions receiving enhanced security.
In New York alone, 66 Jewish organizations received a combined total of over $5.1 million dollars from the NSGP for the 2016 fiscal year.
The Nonprofit Security Grant Program, managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), provides funding to acquire cameras, concrete barriers, security doors, and other security enhancements for nonprofit institutions, in selected cities, at high risk of terrorist attack.
Rabbi Abba Cohen, Agudath Israel’s Vice President for Federal Affairs and Washington Director, said that this boost in funding was largely the result of determined lobbying by Agudath Israel and a coalition of Jewish groups, as well as the hard work of supportive legislators. He noted with thanks the key roles played by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), John Hoeven (R-ND), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Charles Schumer (D-NY), as well as Representatives Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Peter King (R-NY), and Michael McCaul (R-TX).
“I am delighted to hear that 81 institutions have better protection against attacks,” said Rabbi Cohen. “It is gratifying to see the legislation and public policy we have worked so long and hard on translated into tangible assistance to mosdos to keep them better secured. In light of the recent rise in terrorist threats and attacks, we will continue to lobby for increased funding in 2017, in order to adequately protect more of our institutions.”