Jewish Journal


September 13, 2011

Forward analysis: Jewish groups get most security grants


Most Homeland Security grants have gone to Jewish institutions in the six years since the program was instituted, a Forward analysis has discovered.

Of those Jewish institutions, most funds were distributed to Orthodox groups.

Since 2005, the Nonprofit Security Grant Program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has allocated $118 million to not-for-profit organizations to prepare themselves against terror attacks.

Of the 995 Homeland Security Grants distributed from 2007 to 2010, 734, or 73.7 percent, went to Jewish organizations. Orthodox institutions received about 45 percent of those grants.

This year, Jewish groups were awarded 81 percent of the grants, which were announced in August, according to the Forward.

Jewish organizations were successful in getting the grants due to coalition lobbying, according to the newspaper.

The Forward pointed out that some Jewish communal leaders oppose the program on constitutional grounds.

The newspaper reported that Jewish institutions have been more successful because the rules for grant applications favor religious institutions over other not-for-profits; high-risk metropolitan areas are given top priority in the grant process, including cities with high concentrations of Jews; and the institutions must demonstrate that similar institutions have been attacked previously.

Only a handful of Muslim institutions have received federal assistance to upgrade security, according to the report. Ibrahim Hooper, national communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told the Forward that he thinks the disparity is a result of the Jewish community being more plugged in.

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