July 24, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
July 24, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

OU Secures Federal Funding for Synagogues and Yeshivot

This week, the federal government was set to approve two large-scale appropriations bills that will secure necessary funding for shuls, yeshivot and day schools, and other nonpublic schools, nonprofits and houses of worship. The first, which passed both houses of Congress and at press time awaited the president’s signature, is the new comprehensive COVID-19 relief package that includes many critical measures such as substantial funds to support America’s K-12 schools including $2.75 billion to support Jewish, Catholic and other nonpublic day schools. The second will double funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) to $180 million for fiscal year 2021.

The Orthodox Union Advocacy Center strongly advocated to Congress that a comprehensive COVID-19 relief package had to provide support to these nonpublic schools, among others, as a matter of practicality and equity. “As a result, the programs in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed in March included significant support for nonpublic schools. But more support is needed in this ongoing crisis,” the organization said in a statement.

This new relief package, expected to be approved this week, includes a second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans, which are available to nonprofits; an extension of unemployment insurance support; greater funding for food assistance; more funds for vaccine distribution and COVID-19 testing; and an important provision supporting nonpublic K-12 schools.

The OU feels a great deal of ownership in the NSGP and is gratified by the level of support. “The Orthodox Union’s Advocacy Center helped spearhead the creation of the NSGP in 2005 so that synagogues, Jewish day schools and other houses of worship and nonprofits at risk of terror attacks could make their facilities more secure. Through fiscal year 2020, the NSGP has delivered a total of $419 million in NSGP funding, much of it to Jewish communal institutions.”

Nathan Diament, executive director of the OU Advocacy Center, noted his thanks to various members of Congress who helped bring the measure to fruition. “We are deeply grateful to U.S. Reps. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security; U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), a member of the House Appropriations Committee; as well as U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security; and Senate Minority Leader Schumer; Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) of the Homeland Security Committee; and Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Jacky Rosen (R-Nev.), who co-chair the Senate Task Force to Combat Anti-Semitism, for their strong support for this unprecedented and important funding increase.”

He added: “As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has been terribly disruptive and costly to America’s K-12 schools—the students and families they serve, the teachers and many other staffers who work tirelessly to educate our children. That is why it is essential for this latest federal relief package to include a great amount of support for these schools and, among them, America’s Jewish, Catholic and other nonpublic schools.”

“We are all in this together,” Diament continued. “We cannot beat back the pandemic, much less educate children, in some schools but not others. Thus, we are very thankful that Congressional leaders set aside $2.75 billion to help our schools in this emergency. We wish to particularly thank Senate leaders McConnell and Schumer as well as Sens. Collins; Manchin; Dick Durbin (D-Ill.); Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.); House of Representatives leaders Pelosi and McCarthy as well as Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.); Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.); and Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) for their efforts to have this critical support included in this much-needed relief package.”

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles