“No community should have to live in fear due to who they are or how they worship,” Sen. Gillibrand said.
By Forum Staff
A group of U.S. senators, led by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), recently sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee requesting that the Nonprofit Security Grant Program be adequately funded to meet the needs of at-risk organizations this fiscal year.
According to the elected officials, the funding allocated by this program will support non-profit organizations most at-risk of terror attacks through the acquisition and installation of physical target hardening measures, related preparedness and prevention planning, training, and exercises, and contracted security personnel so that religious and community based organizations have the critical resources and tools they need to protect lives and property.
According to a recent FBI report on hate crime statistics in 2019, 60.2 percent were victims of crimes motivated by offenders’ anti-Jewish bias.
“The rise in anti-Semitic and hate-fueled crimes across New York is unconscionable. No community should have to live in fear due to who they are or how they worship,” Gillibrand said. “The Nonprofit Security Grant Program is an initiative committed to keeping nonprofits deemed at risk of terrorist attacks safer through critical investments in their physical security. I will always fight to expand NSGP grants so that New Yorkers, and Americans across the country, can gather communally or worship freely and safely, against the threat of violence.”
Every year, Congress must specifically allocate funding for the NSGP. The program helps nonprofits, deemed by the Department of Homeland Security to be at risk of attack, plan for and ready themselves against potential attacks. In addition to hardening facilities, this program has improved efforts to keep at-risk nonprofit organizations safe by promoting emergency preparedness coordination and collaboration activities between public and private community representatives, as well as with state and local government agencies.
“FEMA’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program is vitally important to ensure nonprofits, particularly faith-based organizations, have the resources necessary to invest in physical security enhancements, training, and contract security personnel to protect against potential attacks. At a time when we have seen a rise in violence against communities of faith, we have a responsibility to ensure this program is appropriately funded to protect at-risk organizations and communities. I am proud to join my bipartisan colleagues to support this crucial program,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH).
Eric Fingerhut, president and CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America, added, “Jewish communities worldwide have witnessed firsthand the rise of anti-Semitism and hate motivated violent attacks. In our schools, synagogues and community centers we have been targeted by hate and extremists and those looking to mimic their disgusting and deplorable tactics. We know that eradicating anti-Semitism means addressing violent hate and extremism wherever it exits in partnership with our elected officials and law enforcement. For these reasons we thank Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, along with Senators Rob Portman, Gary Peters, James Lankford and Jackie Rosen, for their leadership on urging increased funding this year to meet the growing security needs of nonprofit faith- and community-based organizations.”