03.20.17

SCHUMER: JUST-RELEASED TRUMP BUDGET TARGETS CRITICAL FUNDS THAT HELP KEEP HIGH-RISK RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS & ORGS, LIKE JCCs, SAFE FROM TERROR; SENATOR LAUNCHES PUSH TO FIGHT CUTS & PROTECT FEDERAL NONPROFIT SECURITY GRANT PROGRAM

Just Recently, JCCs Across NY Were Evacuated Because of Phony Bomb Threats; Dozens of Jewish Educational Institutions Rely On ‘Nonprofit Security Grant Program’ for Precautionary Measures to Keep Them Safe

Despite Wave of Anti-Semitism & Swatting Attempts, Trump Budget Targets FEMA’s $20 Million ‘Nonprofit Security Grant Program,’ Which Helps Protect At-Risk Institutions Defend Against Terror Attacks; Last Year, NY Orgs Received Over $5M in These Funds

Schumer: Terrorists Will Exploit Our Weakest Links—And Cuts Like This Could Hurt Our High-Risk Religious Institutions, Like JCCs

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer vowed a fight to protect the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NGSP), which awards federal funds to nonprofit organizations, like Jewish Community Centers (JCCs), that are at a high risk of a terrorist attack to encourage preparedness efforts. The program, run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is typically allocated $20 million annually and, in the past, New York City has secured over 25 percent of total funding for organizations based in New York. Schumer said that, in its budget-proposal, the White House takes an axe to these federal dollars. Especially given the recent wave of bomb threats targeting JCCs across New York and across the country, Schumer said it makes no sense to eliminate this critical grant program.

 “At a time when perpetrators are terrorizing the Jewish community across the country, even here in New York, it makes no sense to slash FEMA’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program; we should be putting more money in terrorism prevention for at-risk non-profits, not less,” said Senator Schumer. “These federal dollars have been critical in making sure that high-risk organizations like JCCs, Jewish schools and congregations of all kinds, are safe and protected from potential terrorist attacks. I will do everything in my power to make sure this critical grant program is protected.”

The Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) is run under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI). Schumer has been a long and strong supporter of UASI funds for New York City. Last year, Schumer successfully pushed to restore $600 million in key anti-terror funds after President Obama’s budget woefully recommended a funding level of only $330 million in UASI funds required to keep NYC safe. 

For the 2016 fiscal year, the UASI NSGP was budgeted $20 million. Only eligible nonprofit organizations, as described by the 501(c)(3) tax code of 1986, may apply for this grant. To be eligible, the nonprofit must be at high risk for an international terrorist attack and must be located in one of the designated urban areas throughout the country. In FY 2016, 66 Jewish organizations from the New York City-metro area received a combined total of $5,172,143 in NGSP funding, more than 25 percent of the total funding.

According to FEMA, the funds provide support for target hardening and other physical security enhancements to nonprofit organizations. Certain costs for training of security personnel are also permitted. Allowable training topics are limited to the protection of critical infrastructure and key resources, including physical and cyber security, target hardening and terrorism awareness/employee preparedness.

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