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A $US400 million boost in federal funds for security at US places of worship

New York City, US

A $US400 million increase in federal funding is available for security in US places of worship, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced on the weekend.

The boost in money comes as concerns rise over threats against Jewish and Muslim communities, fuelled in part by the Israel-Hamas war.

 Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, talks after a policy luncheon on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, 1st May, 2024, in Washington. PICTURE: AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib/File photo.

Places like synagogues and mosques could apply to use the money to hire security personnel or install cameras under the new increase in funding to the existing federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program, Schumer, a Democrat, said from New York City.

“We’re going to keep funding so that no synagogue or other religious institution is going to have to live in the fear that they now live with,” Schumer said.

The program allocated $305 million last year to nonprofits to help protect their facilities from potential attacks.

Three New York City synagogues and the Brooklyn Museum received bomb threats through email on Saturday, a spokesperson for the New York Police Department said. The threats prompted two synagogues to evacuate, though no explosives were found.

Houses of worship will need to apply by May 21 to tap into the first round of funds.


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