Jewish Federations React to FY 2024 Minibus

The federal 2024 Fiscal Year minibus released Thursday contained many appropriations of importance to the Jewish community. 


Nonprofit Security Grant Program 


One of the top priorities for Jewish communities is the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP), which helps houses of worship and other nonprofits to secure themselves from terrorist threats.


The minibus included $274.5 million for NSGP, a 10% cut from the $305 million figure approved last year, and significantly less than the $360 million President Biden proposed in his budget. This 10% reduction comes amid a 360% spike in antisemitic incidents, as well as a sharp uptick in violent domestic extremism.


The Senate-passed national security supplemental appropriation contained $400 million in additional funding for the program but has not been taken up in the House.


Karen Paikin Barall, Vice President, Government Relations for Jewish Federations of North America, released this statement:


"Since the horrific October 7th attacks, antisemitism has been soaring across our country, threatening Jewish communities who are simply trying to exercise their right to free religion. At this moment, the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which protects houses of worship, is more important than ever, which is why Jewish Federations are disappointed to see funds cut.


"These cuts make passage of the supplemental NSGP funding passed with strong bipartisan support in the Senate all the more critical. We thank the program's many bipartisan champions from shielding it from further proposed cuts in a difficult fiscal environment and urge them to ensure our communities can remain safe by passing supplemental NSGP funds as soon as possible." 

 

An independently-administered poll commissioned by Jewish Federations of North America found that 70% of American Jews feel less safe than they did before the war – while zero percent said they feel safer. Jewish community institutions are now facing a rise in incidents of vandalism and increasingly violent threats.


Notwithstanding the current international and domestic threats to our communities, the demand for NSGP remains robust. In fact, only 42% of NSGP applications were accepted last year, when the program was funded at $305M annually.


In addition to the FY24 appropriations bill, Jewish Federations support the National Security Supplemental package, which provides an additional $400 million in emergency funding to NSGP.


Between this package and the appropriations bill, Federations urge Congress to appropriate the highest possible funding to meet the rising demand and address the increased dangers facing the Jewish communities. 

Similar to other disaster funds, this funding would act as an emergency fund for NSGP to address high-risk situations, including those faced by the Jewish community during this unprecedented time.


Holocaust Survivor Assistance Program 

The Holocaust Survivor Assistance Program is a public-private partnership between the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living, Jewish Federations, and community-based health and supportive services providers to better address the unique needs of the country’s aging Holocaust survivor population. The funding for the program remains flat at $8.5 million, the same as the previous two fiscal years.


Approximately one third of the Holocaust survivors in the U.S. are estimated to be living in poverty. As a group, Holocaust survivors are subject to increased risk of depression, social isolation, and extremely poor outcomes if they don’t receive the proper care. Through our Holocaust Survivor Care and Institute on Aging and Trauma and with government funding, Jewish Federations have helped tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors, diverse older adults with a history of trauma and family caregivers. 

Additional legislative issues that Jewish Federations advocated for include:


The Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act 

Signed into law in 2021, the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act will provide law enforcement with the necessary resources to monitor and combat hate crimes. The FY 2024 package includes $9 million to implement the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act – down from $15 million in FY 2023. 

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