We are all well aware that our community and its institutions are vulnerable and high risk targets for acts of violence and terror. The threats coming from the mouths of anti-Semites in the Middle East, Europe, and even in the United States, are credible and can, in no way, be taken lightly. The security of our community is the highest priority.

For these reasons, security was a primary focus of Agudath Israel’s recent Leadership Mission to Washington. During our sessions on Capitol Hill and in the White House we redoubled our efforts to urge our government to do all in its power to protect its citizens and institutions against any and all terrorist threats.

In particular, we urgently called upon Congress to increase the allocation for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP), which provides funding to acquire cameras, concrete barriers, reinforced doors and other such security enhancements for non-profit institutions, in selected cities, at high risk of terrorist attack. Synagogues, schools, and other Jewish community institutions have been among the major beneficiaries of the program over the years.

Toward this end, as Congress begins to take up the FY 2017 Homeland Security Appropriations bill, we are encouraging support for a bi-partisan letter, circulated by Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) and Dan Donovan (R-NY), urging the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security to increase funding for NSGP to $25 million – the original allocation for the program. This increase will help provide more security to more institutions in more communities – enhanced protection that our nation urgently needs.

Please urge your representative to support this request and to sign on to the Pascrell-Donovan letter. Click¬†here¬†to download the letter and¬†here¬†to find contact info for your representatives. If your representative would like to sign on to the letter, his or her office should contact either Dylan Sodaro in Representative Pascrell’s office at Dylan.Sodaro@mail.house.gov or Chris Del Beccaro in Representative Donovan’s office at Chris.DelBeccaro@mail.house.gov.

The deadline for signing on is March 18, 2016.

The action alert above calls for increased federal security funding for FY2017. To learn more about applying and utilizing the 2016 federal nonprofit security grant watch this webinar.  The deadline to apply for the grant is fast approaching.