The Orthodox Union (OU) — the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization — welcomed this morning’s approval of the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) Improvement Act by the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security. The bipartisan legislation — led in the Senate by committee Chairman Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), and Ranking Member Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) is a modified version of legislation (H.R.6825) already passed by the House of Representatives.
Among its key provisions, the legislation authorizes the grant program to be funded at $360 million for each of the next five fiscal years.
OU Executive Director for Public Policy Nathan Diament, who also heads the OU Advocacy Center, stated:
“With antisemitic incidents continuing to occur across the U.S., our community’s safety and security is our utmost priority. We appreciate Sens. Peters and Portman working closely with us to craft the Nonprofit Security Grant Program Improvement Act and to move it through their committee. We hope it will pass the full Senate very soon and we can finalize it with the House of Representatives and get it to the President’s desk in September.”
OU President Mark (Moishe) Bane stated:
“The Orthodox Union greatly appreciates the consistent bipartisan support for Jewish community security and combating antisemitism. We urge the full Senate to pass this important legislation as soon as possible.”
Background: Nonprofit Security Grant Program
The Nonprofit Security Grant Program, administered by the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, provides grants of up to $150,000 apiece to synagogues and other houses of worship as well as parochial day schools and other nonprofits at risk of terror attacks. The funds may be used for security improvements to buildings and to hire security guards. The NSGP is currently funded at $250 million; for more than two years, OU Advocacy has called to increase Congress’s allocation for the NSGP to $360 million. Since 2005, when the OU Advocacy Center helped spearhead the creation of the NSGP, the program has provided $849 million in grants to houses of worship and other nonprofits nationwide. In 2021, more than half of those organizations that applied for the NSGP were turned away due to lack of funding.
About the Orthodox Union
Founded in 1898, the Orthodox Union, (OU), or Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, serves as the voice of American Orthodox Jewry, with over 400 congregations in its synagogue network. As the umbrella organization for American Orthodox Jewry, the OU is at the forefront of advocacy work on both state and federal levels, outreach to Jewish teens and young professionals through NCSY, Israel Free Spirit Birthright, Yachad and OU Press, among many other divisions and programs.
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