Contact Congress Today – Help Secure Jewish and Other At-Risk Institutions

We need your help.

Since 2005, Congress has appropriated hundreds of millions of dollars in grants to help secure American nonprofits at risk of terrorist attack. For good reason, a substantial portion of these funds has gone to shuls, yeshivas and other local Jewish institutions – helping to protect you and your family. However, many entities, perhaps in your own community, have been unable to receive this vital security assistance, and the added protection it provides, because of the program’s funding limitations and its restrictions on which cities are eligible for such aid.

As the U.S. House and Senate finalize the appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2018, we are calling upon you to urge your Representatives and Senators to support, and have them urge House and Senate leadership and respective Appropriations Committees to support:

1. Doubling the Nonprofit Security Grant Program to $50 million, as provided in the House bill; and

2. Apportioning 20% of this allocation to non-UASI jurisdictions, as provided in the Senate bill.



Background – As you know, Agudath Israel of America has worked for over a decade within a small coalition of Jewish groups that have stood at the forefront of creating and maintaining the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP). This program provides funding to nonprofits at high risk of terrorist attack for the purchase of security enhancements such as cameras, concrete barriers and reinforced doors. Only entities in Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) locations (see chart below) are currently eligible for these grants.

Agudath Israel is reaching out to you to assist us in securing a major boost in funding for this program. As Congress is currently deliberating over appropriations for Fiscal Year 2018, negotiators will be faced with a Senate bill that maintains the current $25 million NSGP allocation (which is the same amount appropriated when the program began 12 years ago!), and a House bill that doubles the current amount to $50 million.

We ask that you please contact your Representatives and Senators and impress upon them that the threat of terrorism against all Americans is rising and that statistics have shown that incidents directed toward the Jewish community, in particular, are surging dramatically. In light of this genuine and urgent need, they should support, and they should urge the House and Senate leadership and respective Appropriations Committees to support, a significant infusion of funds into this important program, as reflected in the House’s $50 million allocation.

Moreover, because many Jewish and other nonprofit institutions are not located within UASI areas, these facilities – though, individually, they may be high risk targets – are not eligible for NSGP assistance. For this reason, Agudath Israel has long advocated that eligibility should be determined on a number of threat-related factors and not be limited to certain geographical locations. We, therefore, ask you to further urge your Representatives and Senators to support, and request that they urge House and Senate leadership and respective Appropriations Committees to support, adoption of the Senate’s approach of reserving 20% of NSGP funds for high risk entities located outside of UASI areas.

The safety of your families and children cannot be compromised. This is a critical opportunity and our community must respond effectively to this challenge.