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Napolitano talks security funding cuts with Jewish leaders

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Janet Napolitano, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, met with leaders of the New York Jewish federation to discuss security for nonprofits in the wake of substantial funding cuts.

"DHS recognizes the important role the nonprofit community has in our homeland security efforts,” Napolitano said in a statement after meeting at the White House with the UJA-Federation delegation. “We work closely with nonprofit organizations throughout the country — including the faith-based community — to share information, offer training, conduct risk assessments and provide resources to give the nonprofit sector the tools to address threats and help keep communities safe."

Napolitano discussed the recent slash in funding for such programs, from $19 million last year to $10 million this year. The bulk of nonprofits receiving the money are Jewish.

"DHS sustained funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program despite significant overall cuts to grants in order to support target hardening and physical security enhancements at nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of terrorist attack," she said in the statement, adding that nonprofits would now also be able to apply for funds through a different program run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

William Daroff, the director of the Washington office of the Jewish Federations of North America, said his group appreciated Napolitano’s "continuing recognition that since Sept. 11th, nonprofits generally, and Jewish communal institutions specifically, have been victims of an alarming number of threats and attacks.

Daroff said his group would continue to seek "adequate" funding for the programs.

Other groups lobbying for Homeland Security funding for security for nonprofits are the Orthodox Union and Agudath Israel of America.

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