U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand joined Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty CEO David Greenfield at Brooklyn Community Board 12 to address the recent wave of antisemitic assaults in Brooklyn and the attack on a Jewish father and his 7-year-old son on Staten Island, as well as to detail her plans to counter antisemitism and bolster security for the Jewish community. Gillibrand announced she’d be sending a letter calling for robust funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) in the upcoming spending bill. The NSGP provides critical security resources to at-risk faith-based and nonprofit institutions located in urban, suburban, and rural communities.
Senator Gillibrand discussed her work on addressing the issue with Jewish leaders and her plans to urge the president to establish a coordinated response to the current rise in antisemitism including an interagency task force including the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Antisemitic hate crimes have been on the rise in New York City, with New York Police Department statistics showing that 45 antisemitic crimes occurred in November compared to 20 in November 2021.
“Our Jewish neighbors and community members deserve to live free from the threat of hate and we must take action,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Such prejudice has no place in this country and it is important for all of us to commit to combating antisemitism here at home and across the globe. We must continue to push for resources to help at-risk faith-based nonprofits protect their members.”
The Jewish community remains the top target of faith-based hate crimes in the U.S. for the 26th consecutive year, and Senator Gillibrand will continue to prioritize the safety of religious communities throughout New York State. Senator Gillibrand has called on Senate leadership to fund the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) in the upcoming spending bill. The NSGP provides critical funding to nonprofit and faith-based organizations most at risk of attacks, providing resources to install physical target hardening measures, contract security personnel, and conduct preparedness and prevention programs. Gillibrand is seeking to fund the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) NSGP at $180 million and to secure $180 million for the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) NSGP.
In June, Senator Gillibrand and a strong coalition of bipartisan colleagues requested $1.5 million in funding for the U.S. State Department’s Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism. The funds would go toward improving the safety and security of at-risk Jewish communities, ensuring foreign public officials condemn antisemitic discourse, strengthening foreign judicial systems in their prosecution of antisemitic incidents, and promoting Holocaust education.
Senator Gillibrand also participated in a Chanukah Day of Service to package food for homebound Holocaust survivors. The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, also known as Met Council, provides a wide range of programs, including its Kosher Food Network of 101 pantries, the largest free kosher food distribution program in the world. Through their Kosher Home Food Delivery program, Met Council delivers fresh food packages to the homes of 2,043 Holocaust survivors each week. In the past year, Met Council’s Holocaust Survivor Program has served over 3,900 Holocaust survivors.