June 23, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
June 23, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

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

Pray Safe Act Introduced in the US Senate

The bipartisan “Pray Safe Act of 2021” was introduced in the U.S. Senate on Thursday, June 17. The proposed legislation would establish a clearinghouse to provide faith-based organizations, including day schools and synagogues, with best practices for security as well as resources for applying for safety grants. The Orthodox Union was one of many religious institutions propelling the bill forward and providing the appropriate resources and information for the senators involved.

Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) co-sponsored the bill. “We must ensure that faith-based organizations and houses of worship have the resources, assistance and training they need to secure their facilities in the face of unnecessary violence that has tragically become increasingly common,” said Senator Portman in a press release. “The threats and senseless attacks on faith-based organizations and houses of worship we’ve seen across our country are attacks on our values, and this bipartisan legislation will give our faith-based institutions… across our country the resources and information they need to protect themselves.”

The Pray Safe Act complements the nonprofit security grant program that the OU spearheaded a decade ago, according to Nathan Diament, executive director for the OU’s Advocacy Center. Through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the program provided grants to any nonprofit organization that was at risk of attack. “That’s been a very important program for the community given the unfortunate security threats that have developed over the past decade,” shared Diament. “The Pray Safe Act builds on that funding, in that it would set up an in-house DHS resource for houses of worship to study and share the best practices for keeping places like synagogues safe.”

“Americans should be able to feel a sense of safety and security in their places of worship, yet we have seen heartbreaking attacks targeting communities based on their faiths. This bipartisan bill will help provide best practices to places of worship so that Americans of all faith backgrounds can gather in peace,” Senator Hassan emphasized in an online statement.

Diament expects the bill to pass quite easily. “It’s not controversial,” he said. “We just need to find the right pathway. Realistically, I think we’re looking at a vote in the fall.”


Elazar Abrahams is an intern at The Jewish Link and the incoming student council president of Yeshiva University’s men’s campus.

Hannah Kirsch just returned from her gap year in Israel and will be attending Binghamton University in the fall.

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles