The omnibus spending bill set for congressional approval in the coming days includes $20 million in grants to nonprofits to beef up their security measures, the largest such allocation in eight years, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency writes. Launched in 2005 with $25 million from the Department of Homeland Security, the program has dwindled in the decade since as overall government spending has shrunk and concern over potential terrorist attacks waned, dropping as low as $10 million in 2012.
Jewish groups, which apply for and receive the bulk of the money, sought an increase this year in the wake of attacks in Europe and the United States. The Orthodox Union, Agudath Israel of America, and the Jewish Federations of North America led the lobbying effort. The grants are used primarily to provide security equipment, such as barriers and video monitoring systems.