Department of Homeland Security Budget Quadruples Security Grant Funding for Non-Profits to $360 Million

A security-guard booth being installed at a Wiliamburg yeshiva last year.

The House Appropriations Committee approved the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed budget for the fiscal year 2012 which includes an increase in funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) to $360 million, which quadruples the amount allocated in previous years.

The program, administered by the DHS, awards grants of up to $100,000 for purchasing and installing security equipment, as well as contracting and training security guards.

The NSGP was created in 2005 so that institutions at risk of attack, including shuls, Jewish day schools, houses of worship and other nonprofits, could protect their facilities in a more secure manner. The Orthodox Union Advocacy Center helped spearhead the NSGP at the time. To date, the NSGP has delivered a total of $419 million in funding, with a majority of it going to Jewish communal institutions. The Senate will soon take up this bill, and if approved will bring the total of the new allocation of NSGP funding to $779 million.

Nathan Diament, Executive Director of the OU Advocacy Center, thanked the many lawmakers for their early and ongoing support for the measure and for their efforts “to dramatically increase NSGP funding so that many more synagogues, day schools and other nonprofits can access the security they need in the face of ongoing anti-Semitic violence.”

“The significant boost in security grant funding is a reflection of Congress’s recognition that hate and bigotry continue unabated, especially in these uncertain times, and that potential victims need exponentially greater protection than before,” said Rabbi Abba Cohen, Vice President for Government Affairs and Washington Director of Agudas Yisroel of America. “This is surely true in regard to the Jewish community and the uptick in anti-Semitic incidents we are facing. Hopefully, with such an increase in funding we can ‘get ahead’ of the violence and reduce the risk, not only by securing more sites but also by deterring potential attacks.”

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