As the Senate and House appropriations committees hammer out congressional discretionary funding for fiscal year 2024, more than 120 U.S. Jewish Federations penned a letter on Thursday asking members to support needs that are important to American Jews, among others.
Specifically, the letter drew lawmakers’ attention to “programs to secure faith and other vulnerable communities, fight antisemitism and hate crimes, care for Holocaust survivors and other vulnerable populations, and promote peace and security in the Middle East.”
Among the group’s requests are $360 million for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which protects Jewish communities and others who face elevated threats, and $10 million for the Holocaust Survivor Assistance Program. Those requests represent roughly 18% and 17.5% increases, respectively, over last year. (The congressional fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.)
It also requested $2 million to fund the special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism—a role Jewish historian and longtime Emory University professor Deborah Lipstadt currently occupies—as well as mental-health services, and emergency food and shelter programs.
“It’s no exaggeration to say that the American Jewish community is feeling more unsettled than it has in decades due to the rise in antisemitism and violent extremism,” Elana Broitman, senior vice president of public affairs at the Jewish Federations of North America, stated in a release.
She added that “now is the time to double down on the priorities that keep our and other faith communities safe, secure, healthy, strong and resilient, including programs that support the mental and physical health of our most vulnerable and ensure that our Holocaust survivors can live in dignity.”