Orthodox lobbyist: After Charleston, black communities need same security funding as Jews


In reporting on federal funding for securing nonprofits, we’ve noted, almost as a matter of boilerplate, that the vast majority of the funding – over 90 percent – goes to Jewish institutions.

There are several reasons for this:

– Jewish groups, including the Jewish Federations of North America, the Orthodox Union and Agudath Israel of America, have led lobbying for the funding, which has ranged from $15 to $25 million a year since the program was launched in 2005. As such, these groups are the most familiar with how to go about applying for the funds.

– Jewish institutions are increasingly vulnerable.

– And finally, from what I’ve heard – virtually no one else asks.

Wednesday, in the Washington Post, and after last week’s mass killing at a black church in Charleston, S.C., the Orthodox Union’s Nathan Diament said that should change. Communities at risk should avail themselves of the program, he said – adding that this will require increased funding,

“In light of last week’s terrible shooting at Emanuel, it seems even more critical for Congress to not only rapidly approve the [U.S. Department of Homeland Security] bill so this aid is available to all at-risk nonprofits, but also increase its funding so that the program can adequately serve all communities in need,” Diament said.

Diament also suggested that other communities adopt the Secure Communities Network that the national Jewish community has developed in recent years, establishing training templates to prevent attacks and to mitigate violence when they occur.

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