That’s right – The Jewish Week is reporting $25 million meant to help nonprofits, a large number of them Jewish nonprofits, step up their security has been sitting unused in Washington. Why? It seems bureaucrats at the Department of Homeland Security (of Hurricane Katrina infamy) refused to disburse the money unless there was a specific threat against a specific nonprofit.
While the actual amount each nonprofit would receive is nominal, the idea behind the money was to get these nonprofits security cameras, entry barriers and other simple security measures to help reduce the risk of attacks like the one that took place at Seattle’s Jewish Federation last week.
I happen to believe the Jewish community could and should be doing much more on its own to secure its members and property, an effort that does not need to depend on government funds. That being said, the behavior of the Bush Administration with regard to this issue is counterproductive and should be condemned.