in security funding for day schools, synagogues, and other nonprofits— a 100% increase from 2020
since 2004, to protect synagogues, day schools, and other nonprofits through the Nonprofit Security Grant Program that OU Advocacy helped create
OU shul consulting and support touchpoints
The OU Advocacy Center is the nonpartisan public policy arm of the OU that advocates on behalf of the Orthodox community nationwide. Through its engagement with Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., the OU Advocacy Center advances the values and interests of our community and ensures that Klal Yisrael thrives.


As attacks against Jews rose nationwide, OU Advocacy helped double FY 2021 funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP).

Of prime importance to OU Advocacy (OUA) is protecting our synagogues, schools, and other gathering places from antisemitic attacks. In 2022, OUA successfully worked with elected officials and coalition partners to dramatically increase funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) to $250 million. NSGP grants, administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, fund security upgrades and the hiring of contract security guards across our communities. OUA is currently working with allies including DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Senator Chuck Schumer to increase NSGP funding to $360 million for 2023.

In 2022, the American Jewish community saw another assault on a synagogue – this time in Colleyville, Texas. As part of our response, OUA convened an emergency virtual national meeting for rabbis and other Jewish community leaders with the most senior U.S. officials including Attorney General Merrick Garland, Secretary of DHS Alejandro Mayorkas, FBI Director Christopher Wray, as well as key White House officials.

Finally, OUA worked with bipartisan members of Congress and coalition partners to craft the Pray Safe Act, which passed the U.S. Senate in April and is pending in the House of Representatives. This legislation will establish a new office at DHS specifically dedicated to the security of houses of worship and other religious institutions.


OU Advocacy works to support the security and welfare of the State of Israel and a strong U.S.-Israel relationship. In February, OUA facilitated a visit by the newly installed U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides, to OU Israel’s Zula Center. This was an important opportunity for Amb. Nides to see and engage with the work of the OU in Israel.

Ahead of President Biden’s historic trip to Israel in July 2022, OUA leaders engaged with senior members of the president’s National Security Council team to advocate for key pronouncements and policies that were ultimately made by Mr. Biden during his visit.

As attacks against Jews rose nationwide, OU Advocacy helped double FY 2021 funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP).


After decades of determined advocacy, there are no longer any constitutional barriers to governments providing funding support to religious schools, houses of worship, and other faith-based institutions. That is the essence of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Carson v. Makin. The 6-3 ruling held that it was unconstitutional for Maine to provide tuition support for families in rural areas to send their children to private schools but prohibit them from using the funds to attend religious private schools. Ahead of the ruling, OUA filed a “friend of the court” brief and published an essay in the Wall Street Journal urging this result.


OUA worked with bipartisan allies in Congress—Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Hoeven (R-ND)— to have new legislation crafted by OUA, the Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Act, incorporated into the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden last November. This creates a new Department of Energy program—funded with $50 million in its first year—that will award grants to nonprofits to support making their buildings more energy efficient via the installation of new HVAC systems and the like. The grant funds are specifically available to subsidize the purchase of the new energy system materials. OUA is working aggressively to have the Energy Department implement the new program this year.

The OU Advocacy Center was the heart and soul of this bill. It’s not right that houses of worship and nonprofits don’t have the resources to both pursue their missions and seek energy efficiency.”


OUA also worked with key Democratic allies—including Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Joe Manchin (D-WV)—to amend an existing federal tax deduction supporting energy efficiency building upgrades (known as 179D deductions) so that it can be used by nonprofit entities, such as shuls and schools, when they upgrade their buildings. The law’s revision was included in the “Inflation Reduction Act” enacted in August and will enable nonprofits to use the deduction by making its value transferable to the contractor designing and installing the building upgrades.

The combination of the new grant program and newly available tax deduction will be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to individual schools and shuls in the short term—as they implement energy-efficiency renovations and, in the long term, will reduce the operating costs borne by shuls, schools, and other entities and reduce emissions that harm the environment.

Meeting with Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) – (Left to right) OU Advocacy Chairman Jerry Wolasky, OU Advocacy’s Nathan Diament, Sen. Menendez, OU Exec. Vice President Rabbi Moshe Hauer.

Screenshot of the national Zoom meeting convened by OU Advocacy in the wake of the hostage-taking at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. Featuring, among others: FBI Director Wray (top second from left), Secretary of Homeland Security Mayorkas (third row), White House senior aide Melissa Rogers (bottom left), and Attorney General Garland (bottom right).

Meeting with U.S. Senator Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee for Homeland Security (left to right): OU Advocacy Chairman Jerry Wolasky, Sen. Capito, OU Exec. Vice President Rabbi Moshe Hauer, OU Advocacy’s Nathan Diament.

OU Advocacy director of congressional affairs, Lindsay Barsky, second from right, addressed a meeting of the Congressional Task Force to Combat Antisemitism, co-chaired by Sen. Jacky Rosen and Rep. Ted Deutch.

Left to right: OU EVP Rabbi Moshe Hauer; OU President Moishe Bane; Consul General of Israel in New York, Asaf Zamir; OU EVP and COO Rabbi Dr. Josh Joseph; OU Chairman of the Board Mitchel Aeder

The OU Advocacy Center had a profoundly positive impact on our community this past year. OUA delivered record resources for our community’s security in grants from the Department of Homeland Security and served as the convener for the top federal officials to speak with our community leaders about the fight against antisemitism. OUA also saw the result of decades of determined advocacy with a historic Supreme Court ruling that ensures support for our shuls and schools in government programs. OU Advocacy makes a difference in the most important ways.”

JERRY WOLASKY, OU Advocacy Chairman
OU Women’s Initiative