Rep. Espaillat, Wasserman Schultz Introduce Amendment Boosting Federal Funding To Protect Jewish Communities

June 12, 2024

By Adriano Espaillat

Today, during the House Appropriations Committee markup of the Fiscal Year 2025 (FY2025) Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations bill.

Harlem Representative Adriano Espaillat and Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz introduced an amendment to protect American Jewish communities in light of recent spikes in antisemitic violence.

“… increased security at nonprofits, places of worship, and community centers …”

DHS’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program is a key program that allocates federal money for increased security at nonprofits, places of worship, and community centers throughout the country that are at increased risk of terrorist attacks and hate crimes. In adherence with President Biden’s request for increased funding for the program, the Espaillat-Wasserman Schultz amendment seeks to respond to recent increases in antisemitic hate by expanding federal funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program in Fiscal Year 2025 by an additional $110 million over its 2024 funding level. To pay for this increase, the Espaillat-Wasserman Schultz amendment would redirect funds that Republicans had attempted to allocate to construct a wasteful and unnecessary border wall between the United States and Mexico. 

“According to the Anti-Defamation League, there were nearly 2,000 antisemitic incidents in 2023 targeting synagogues, Jewish Community Centers, and Jewish Schools—an increase of 237 percent over the previous year,” said Rep. Espaillat. “This is unacceptable, and Congress must do all we can to protect our Jewish brothers and sisters in the upcoming Congressional budget. By increasing funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, our amendment takes a clear stand against antisemitism and provides a much-needed increase in bolstering security for Jewish Americans in New York, Florida, and in states across the nation. Antisemitic hate has no place in the United States of America, and Jewish Americans deserve to feel safe in their synagogues, Jewish community centers, and all places where they gather.” 

“I am proud to offer this amendment that would restore the President’s budget request and fully fund the Nonprofit Security Grant Program. Federal hate crime investigations have shot up by 60% since October 7, and the majority of those cases involve antisemitic threats against Jews despite being only 2% of the population,” said Rep. Wasserman Schultz . “Communities of all faiths have been devastated by violent extremists, from the 2022 drive-by shooting of a mosque in Indianapolis to the cruel massacre of nine black parishioners at Emanuel Church in Charleston. It requires a total suspension of belief to think that allocating $80 million for useless border wall spending in 2029 should take priority over protecting our constituents.”

“… fought against antisemitism …”

As Co-Chairs of the Latino-Jewish Caucus, Rep. Espaillat and Rep. Wasserman Schultz have routinely fought against antisemitism and been outspoken advocates for the American Jewish community.


Representative Espaillat is the first Dominican American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and his congressional district includes Harlem, East Harlem, West Harlem, Hamilton Heights, Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill and the north-west Bronx. First elected to Congress in 2016, Representative Espaillat is serving his fourth term in Congress. Representative Espaillat currently serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Committee on Appropriations responsible for funding the federal government’s vital activities and serves as Ranking Member of the Legislative Branch Subcommittee of the committee during the 118th Congress. He is also a member of the House Budget Committee and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), where he serves in a leadership role as the Deputy Chair as well as Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI). Rep. Espaillat is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and serves as a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at https://espaillat.house.gov/.

Photo credit: Wiki.


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