Following the latest series of anti-Semitic attacks in New York, the city’s Democratic Reps. Max Rose, Jerrold Nadler, Yvette Clarke, Eliot Engel, Hakeem Jeffries, Carolyn Maloney, Nita Lowey, Gregory Meeks, Grace Meng and Nydia Velázquez announced on Monday that they will be coordinating efforts to assist those in the community and will host grant workshops throughout New York City in the coming months to help high-risk nonprofit institutions learn about the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) and apply for funding.
As part of the federal appropriations legislation passed last month, Congress increased funding for the NSGP to $90 million—a 50 percent increase over the $60 million funding in 2019.
The NSGP provides grants of up to $100,000 each to nonprofits at risk of terrorist attacks so they may improve building security by acquiring and installing items ranging from fences, lighting and video surveillance to metal detectors and blast-resistant doors, locks and windows. Funding may also be used to train staff and pay for contracted security personnel.
These funds have become more critical for the Jewish community in the aftermath of the Oct. 27, 2018 mass shooting at the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh, where 11 Jewish worshipers were killed, and six months later, the April 27 shooting at Chabad of Poway in Southern California, where one woman was killed and three others injured.
“We have all been horrified by the anti-Semitic attacks over the past few weeks and the rising trend of terrorist attacks on houses of worship,” said the members of Congress in a joint statement. “This cannot continue because everyone should be able to worship and pray in peace. That’s why we fought to increase critical funding for the Nonprofit Grant Security Program by 50 percent to help protect and secure these institutions.”
“Additionally, in the coming months our offices will be working with organizations throughout New York City and the entire metropolitan area to ensure those in the community have all the federal grant funding, resources and tools they need at their fingertips,” they continued “Because we all must work together to not only educate and eradicate hate, but to leave no stone unturned in our efforts to ensure safety and security in our communities.”
“We thank New York’s congressional delegation for their swift response of public resources to combat anti-Semitism,” Jack Kliger, president and CEO of the Museum of Jewish Heritage–A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, said in a statement. “We condemn the recent heinous acts of hate in Monsey and New York City, and our heartfelt support goes out to the people and communities who have been harmed.”
He added that “with anti-Semitic violence on the rise, we are profoundly grateful to all those who have demonstrated a desire to learn from the past in order to meet this current moment with the knowledge, courage and resolve it requires.”
FBI hate-crime statistics show that incidents in at religious institutions like synagogues, churches, mosques and temples increased 34.8 percent between 2014 and 2018, the last year for which FBI data is available. The Anti-Defamation League’s 2018 Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents in New York, released earlier this year, showed a 55 percent increase in Anti-Semitic Assaults in 2018, all of which occurred in New York City.