update deskAntisemitism

Federations ‘grateful’ to House for antisemitism envoy budget increase to $2.5m

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on State Department and Foreign Operations is recommending a $1 million increase; a bipartisan group had asked for $500,000 months ago.

Rabbi Arthur Schneier and Deborah Lipstadt attend an “Efforts on Combating Antisemitism” briefing at United Nations Headquarters in New York City on June 15, 2022. Credit: Lev Radin/Shutterstock.
Rabbi Arthur Schneier and Deborah Lipstadt attend an “Efforts on Combating Antisemitism” briefing at United Nations Headquarters in New York City on June 15, 2022. Credit: Lev Radin/Shutterstock.

The Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism is to see a $1 million increase in its budget next year — to $2.5 million — if the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs has its way.

The 66% increase is double the amount that a bipartisan group of 83 House members sought in March for the office, which Amb. Deborah Lipstadt leads.

The new funds will help Lipstadt “ensure we are leveraging all of our diplomatic tools to help improve the safety and security of at-risk Jewish communities and hold world leaders to account,” stated Elana Broitman, senior vice president of public affairs at Jewish Federations of North America.

“Jewish Federations are grateful to see Congress taking this issue seriously and providing the necessary support to keep fighting the oldest hatred,” Broitman added. “We hope this increased funding will support the addition of permanent staff in the office, among other important provisions.”

In a joint July 12 statement, Reps. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), David Kustoff (R-Tenn.), Kathy Manning (D-N.C.), Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), María Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Susan Wild (D-Pa.) called the increase in funding “significant.”

The monies “will go a long way to address the tangible and growing threats faced by both the American Jewish community and Jewish communities around the world,” they stated. “The dangerous and distributing rise in antisemitism requires unprecedented investments in the Office of the Special Envoy, so that the special envoy has the staffing and resources it requires to accomplish its work.”

JNS sought perspective from Federations on the discrepancy between the $500,000 lawmakers had sought and the $1 million that was announced.

“We are grateful for the proposed increase which comes at a time of rising antisemitism, and we are urging the senate and house to pass the funding at this proposed level of $2.5 million,” Alisa Bodner, Federations press relations manager, told JNS.

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