Senate Majority Chief Charles E. Schumer has proposed $1.22 billion in new spending to beef up safety for U.S. homes of worship amid a nationwide surge of antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents for the reason that Oct. 7 Hamas terror assaults.
“We’re in a disaster,” the New York Democrat stated. “In some ways, the vulnerability and elevated hazard … has by no means been increased.”
The proposal would increase funds out there to synagogues, church buildings, mosques, colleges, Sikh gurdwaras and faith-based group facilities, similar to Jewish group facilities, by grants supplied by the Nonprofit Safety Grant Program.
Traditionally Black Faculties and Universities additionally qualify for the funds.
“The rise in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, the threats to church buildings, locations of worship, and the notion that evil acts and intolerance may merely unfold and replicate some new ‘regular’ is gravely unacceptable. This isn’t the America our forefathers constructed, the America our founders envisioned or the one we characterize immediately,” Mr. Schumer stated in an announcement.
Mr. Schumer’s proposal would create a $1 billion “reserve fund,” just like monies the Federal Emergency Administration Company can entry for earthquakes and different pure disasters, an concept that Nathan Diament, government director for public coverage on the Orthodox Union, referred to as “very inventive and really bold.”
“This unprecedented request matches the peak of antisemitism we’re witnessing in America immediately,” he stated.
The Jewish Federations of North America stated they “stand strongly” behind the initiative.
“With antisemitism and anti-Israel acts hovering and elevated concern over lone wolf terror assaults, our group should have extra assets to remain protected,” the group stated in a weblog publish.