Congress approves $19 million in security funding
WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. Congress approved $19 million for non-profit security for 2011, a program that has mostly benefited Jewish institutions in the past.
The $19 million, identical to 2010’s allocation, was included in appropriations approved last week and is part of a congressionally mandated program in place since 2005 that targets institutions that are vulnerable to attack.
In the past, security measures funded included reinforcements for windows, gates and doors, video surveillance, other enhancements and training.
Groups may now apply for the funds to state homeland security agencies.
The majority of past funds have gone to Jewish groups; last year 254 of 271 named institutions were Jewish.
"Since Sept. 11, nonprofits generally, and Jewish communal institutions specifically, have been the victim of an alarming number of threats and attacks," said William Daroff, the Washington director for the Jewish Federations of North America, the group that leads lobbying for the funds, referring to the 2001 terrorist attacks. "The Nonprofit Security Grant Program is a proven resource that helps supplement the work of local and federal law enforcement to help keep us safe."
Other groups lobbying for the money include two Orthodox umbrella bodies, the Orthodox Union and Agudath Israel of America.
The main sponsor of the program has been Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.).