Press Release

After Hostage Crisis at Texas Synagogue, ADL Calls on Congress to Increase Nonprofit Security Funding and Immediately Confirm Antisemitism Envoy

ADL urges Congress to increase nonprofit security funding to $360 million for FY 2022

New York, NY, January 16, 2022 … In the aftermath of a hostage crisis at a Texas synagogue that fortunately ended with all hostages being freed safely, ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) called on Congress to double funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which provides non-profit organizations, including Jewish schools and houses of worship, with much-needed assistance to bolster security. ADL also urges the Senate to immediately confirm Dr. Deborah Lipstadt as the State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism.

“With threats against synagogues and other Jewish institutions arguably at an all-time high, it is imperative that the federal government provides appropriate levels of funding to mitigate the threat,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “As we saw in Texas, it is urgently critical for Congress to increase funding to protect these non-profit organizations from future acts of terrorism or hate-motivated violence.”

ADL has long supported an increase in funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program to protect soft targets from potential acts of terrorism. Last year, the House initially approved $360 million for the program for the 2021 fiscal year – an increase from $90 million in 2020 – but Congress ultimately budgeted $180 million. ADL’s PROTECT Plan, which was introduced after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, called for an increase in federal funding to $360 million to meet the increased current demand. The grant program fulfilled less than half of the applications it received for 2021 grants, approving only 1,532 applications out of 3,361 submitted and less than half of the dollar amount of total funds requested by applicants.

Additionally, Dr. Lipstadt’s role has remained in limbo for six months. She was nominated by President Biden in August, but her confirmation hearing by the Senate’s foreign relations committee has been blocked. The White House resubmitted her nomination last week.

“The Texas hostage crisis was a painful reminder that the threat to the Jewish community in America remains at a significant and lethal level, and that antisemitism continues to be a threat not just in America, but to Jewish communities everywhere,” said Greenblatt. “This is no time for members of the Senate to be playing politics with the antisemitism envoy role, and Dr. Lipstadt is eminently qualified. We urge members of the Senate to act now to demonstrate the urgency of antisemitism and ensure that the State Department’s Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism is fully staffed to execute its vital work worldwide.”