In the wake of the outbreak of war in Israel, Jewish Federations of North America are requesting Congress to authorize a significant increase in the funds available under the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) from its current level of $305 million in FY23 to $500 million.
“It is imperative at this moment, when the Jewish community is feeling shocked and vulnerable, that Congress provides houses of worship with the resources they need to protect themselves,” said Karen Paikin Barall, associate vice president of public affairs at Jewish Federations. “We know from experience that tension in the Middle East spills over into antisemitism at home, and our Jewish community must have the assurance that it is safe.”
Past conflicts between Israel and Hamas have resulted in a dramatic uptick in antisemitic and anti-Zionist incidents across North America. Jewish communities are thus bracing for potential terror attacks, for anti-Israel activities in high schools and on college campuses, and for anti-Israel policies in corporate boardrooms, state legislatures, and school boards, among other places.
According to the Secure Community Network (SCN) and ADL, anti-Israeli activists and organizations like BDS, National Students for Justice in Palestine, the Boston Mapping Project, and the Council on Islamic American Relations (CAIR) have already flooded the Internet with messaging that blames Israel rather than Hamas terrorists for the current crisis.
The rising tide of misinformation and hate speech is proliferating online and is not likely to crest any time soon. It is imperative, then, that the federal government has adequate funding to help Jewish communities to defend themselves as this hate speech spills over into attacks on Jewish people.