OU berates GOP-led PA legislature for slashing funding for nonprofit security


The Orthodox Union blasted Pennsylvania’s Republican-led legislature for cutting security funding to nonprofits to zero.

The General Assembly budget passed last month ended a five-year fund created by the state in 2019, just after the Tree of Life massacre in Pittsburgh, to secure nonprofits.

The fund has so far distributed $ 10 million in grants of between $ 25,000 and $ 150,000 to organizations identified by the FBI as likely targets of hate crimes, including synagogues, churches and mosques.

An armed man killed 11 worshipers in the Tree of Life synagogue complex in October 2018, the worst attack on Jews in US history. White supremacist activity has only increased in the Pittsburgh area since then.

“Jewish community leaders across the Commonwealth are disappointed with the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s decision to fund security support for at-risk groups last week,” the Orthodox Union said in a statement on Tuesday. . “Although authorized to fund the nonprofit grants program until 2024, lawmakers have now reduced the directive by five years, zeroing in a resource demanded by the biased crimes and violence plaguing the country. “

The cut was part of a number of programs zeroed out as Republicans spearheaded passage of a $ 40 billion budget that invests in education and infrastructure, but sets aside around $ 5 billion for save in order to keep taxes from rising.

Much of the money earmarked comes from billions of federal stimulus funds earmarked for the state for coronavirus relief.

“How do you choose to be fiscal prudent and leave so many people in need when you have excess dollars because of federal stimulus dollars?” Said Arielle Frankston-Morris, executive director of Teach PA, an Orthodox Union project. “One of the hardest parts for me is going back to the TCGs, synagogues and camps and saying, ‘I know you’re scared, but this year we don’t have the funding. “”

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