Statement by Rabbi Abba Cohen, 
Vice President for Federal Affairs and Washington Director, 
Agudath Israel of America—

Agudath Israel of America welcomes the news that the U.S. Congress today passed bipartisan legislation allocating $25 million for the FY17 Non-Profit Security Grant Program (NSGP). This represents a $5 million increase over last year’s level and brings the appropriation up to where it was when the program began over a decade ago.

NSGP, which provides funding for security enhancements to high risk non-profit institutions, has been a top priority for Agudath Israel and other Jewish groups. With the dramatic rise in anti-Semitic incidents and with the ever-present threat of terrorist attack, our community institutions are especially vulnerable targets.

We are grateful that Congress understands this threat and, on a bipartisan basis, has in recent years steadily increased security funding to better protect the nation’s citizens and institutions against terrorist violence. Our community has worked hard to educate members of the House and Senate as to the incidents we have experienced and the dangers we face. NSGP is a major focus of Agudath Israel’s year-round advocacy in Washington, including during its annual National Leadership Missions.

Given the increasing threat, funding levels must continue to increase if NSGP is to adequately secure American institutions. Proposals are currently being considered that would double the program’s allocation. Such a boost will help provide more security to more institutions in more communities – enhanced protection that our nation urgently needs.”