OU Slams Leftist Anti-Israel Group for Opposing Security Funding for Nonprofits

By Hamodia Staff

The Orthodox Union, which had lobbied in Washington to prevent the reduction of government security funding to non-profit community centers, blasted Thursday a call from an anti-Israel Jewish group to further decrease funding.

The Non-Profit Security Grant Program is open to community centers which are targets of terrorism, including religious schools and houses of worship, and offers funding for security training exercises, surveillance equipment, and contracted security guards.

But the “Jews for Racial and Economic Justice” group, which accuses Israel of “genocide” in its war against the Hamas terror group in Gaza, called on the government to further cut funding to the program, stating that Jewish communities are “made up of people who are impacted” by what it says is “police and state violence,” including “Arab, black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, undocumented, and disabled.” The group claims that the “involvement of surveillance and law enforcement in our spiritual, educational and cultural institutions directly opposes our commitment to building supportive and welcoming environments.”

The organization did not explain how a private property maintaining surveillance footage or holding training seminars on how to deal with active shooters or bomb threats are related to alleged police violence. In addition, police patrols are not included in the program’s funding.

JFREJ went on to say that they are concerned with antisemitism from “resurgent white supremacist rhetoric in the public sphere, and far right groups exploiting the violence in Israel/Palestine to further their antisemitic worldviews,” and their website is replete with articles against white supremacism and far-right groups. Absent from the site’s literature is condemnation of antisemitism among extreme anti-Israel, Islamic, and black nationalist groups, members of whom were responsible for the overwhelming majority of antisemitic assaults and threats on Jewish institutions in recent years. While FREJ discusses the deadly Tree of Life shooting committed by a white nationalist man in 2018, it makes no mention of a deadly shooting the following year later perpetrated by two black nationalists at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City, nor does it feature the severe, unprovoked beating of an Orthodox Jewish man by six Muslim men in 2021 in Times Square.

Nathan Diament of the Orthodox Union says that groups such as JFREJ do not speak for the mainstream Jewish community, and should not be taken as representative thereof.

“The “Minibus” federal spending bill passed by Congress last month cut $30.5 million from the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP). This 10% cut threatens the safety and security of day schools, synagogues, and other Jewish institutions,” Diament said in a statement.

“To add insult to injury, there are now extreme Leftist groups – falsely claiming to speak for the Jewish community – who, after spending the months since 10/7 speaking in ways that endanger Jewish lives in Israel – are trying to endanger American Jewish lives by opposing Congress increasing funds for the NSGP grants,” the statement continued.

“This is shocking. At a time when antisemitic incidents are on the rise and criticism of Israel is escalating into attacks on Jews, opposition to security funding for our shuls is a betrayal of our community’s needs.”

Diament called on his constituents to reach out to Congress.

“We need your help today. We need you to contact your Members of Congress and tell them we need to pass legislation that includes $400 million for the NSGP alongside aid to Israel,” he said.

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