Members of Bipartisan Task Forces for Combating Antisemitism Call for Greater Protection of Jewish Americans, Religious Institutions & Organizations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today signed a bipartisan, bicameral letter seeking greater resources and federal coordination to help protect the safety and security of Jewish Americans, religious institutions and organizations as acts of antisemitism increase following the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel.

Hyde-Smith with fellow members of the Senate and House Bipartisan Task Forces for Combating Antisemitism issued their request in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Christopher Wray, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

“Unfortunately, following Hamas’ recent terrorist attacks in Israel, antisemitism is on full display in cities around the country, as well as on college and university campuses.  Free speech is always protected in the public square, but speech inciting violence, as well as threats and acts of terrorism and violence, must be taken seriously,” said the letter signed by 17 Senators and 47 House members.

In addition to seeking an unclassified briefing on the current threat assessment and interagency coordination, the lawmakers expressed support for increased funding for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP).  These grants provide critical funding to support physical security and planning enhancements for at-risk nonprofits, including religious organizations and houses of worship.

“As such, we urge you to continue the work you have been undertaking to ensure the physical safety and security of Jewish Americans, religious institutions, and organizations, including synagogues, schools, and Jewish community centers.  This includes taking additional steps to allocate sufficient resources toward and generate increased awareness of DHS’ NSGP,” the letter said.

“Ensuring the safety of Jewish Americans also requires increased coordination to prevent and respond to threats of violence,” the letter continued.  “Such coordination is not only necessary between federal law enforcement agencies like DHS and the FBI, but also other federal agencies, including the National Security Council and the Department of Education, as well as local governments, law enforcement agencies, and community leaders.”

The letter was led by Task Force co-chairs U.S. Senators James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and U.S. Representatives Kathy Manning (D-NN.C.) and Chris Smith (R-N.J.).

U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-Kan.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) also signed the letter.

Read the signed letter here.