NEWARK, N.J. – With a staggering rise in anti-Semitic attacks throughout New Jersey and across the country, New Jersey’s U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez, along with Assemblyman Gary Schaer, are calling for a significant increase in government funding to help protect communities from targeted hate crimes and domestic terrorism.

 

Sens. Booker and Menendez are urging the federal government to increase funding from $90 million to $360 million for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program. Schaer is also seeking increased funding for New Jersey’s own Nonprofit Security Grant Program from $1 million to $10 million. The program encourages non-profits at risk of terror attacks, such as churches, mosques, synagogues, faith-based community centers, and other religious institutions, to improve their safety and preparedness by increasing security.

 

“I was horrified by the recent attackon New Yorkers as they celebrated Hanukkah together and the tragic shooting in Jersey CityThese were senseless acts of violence fueled by anti-Semitism and the disturbing increase in these hate crimes have no place in our country,” said Sen. Booker. “We must all join together to defend people of all religious and cultural backgrounds and ensure they have the resources to safely gather in their communities. Increasing federal security funds will help protect against hate-filled attacks and save lives.

 

“Within the past month, there have been at least 16 anti-Semitic attacks in New Jersey and New York alone,” said Sen. Menendez.  “Our country cannot ignore the disturbing number of targeted attacks that continue to pose a threat to the Jewish community, nor tolerate threats to any religious or cultural community.  By increasing federal funding to improve the security of religious institutions, we can help Americans feel safe in their places of worship again.”

 

At the state level, Assemblyman Schaer is calling for New Jersey’s Nonpublic School Security Program aid to be increased from $150 to $250 per pupil. This would help Jewish, Catholic, Muslim and other private schools – both religious and non-religious – increase their security services, equipment and technology to protect students.

 

“The December 10th attack targeting a kosher grocery store in Jersey City left residents shaken and dismayed, especially those of us in the Jewish community,” said Asm. Schaer (D-Bergen, Passaic). “Historically, it has always been a mistake to do nothing in the face of rising anti-Semitism. We must ensure the safety of our fellow citizens as they study, work and congregate in religious organizations of all kinds throughout the country.”