March 23, 2022
U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) announced key provisions in the final omnibus appropriations package for fiscal year 2022 (FY22) signed into law by President Biden that support education at Holocaust and Holocaust survivors, and expand the assistance available to improve security in places of worship amid increasing threats to religious communities.
Senator Van Hollen is a member of the Senate Appropriations and Senate Foreign Relations Committees. Senator Cardin is a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council and Special Representative on Anti-Semitism, Racism and Intolerance to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
“Support for Holocaust survivors remains as important today as it was in the aftermath of the atrocities committed during World War II against the Jewish people. The rise in hatred and anti-Semitism that we have witnessed in recent years only underscores this need. That’s why we fought to include measures in this year’s funding program to strengthen support for Holocaust survivors and Holocaust education. Americans must continue to learn from the horrors experienced by Holocaust survivors to ensure “never again.” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the appropriations committee.
“The United States still has much to learn from Holocaust survivors who came to this country for refuge from unimaginable horrors. They have enriched our nation,” said Senator Cardin. “We have an obligation to provide Holocaust survivors with the community support and special services they need to live out their final days. We must do all we can to ensure that their stories are not forgotten. The rise of anti-Semitic incidents and violence around the world cannot be normalized. »
“Religious freedom is a fundamental freedom protected by our Constitution, but the rise of hateful attacks against places of worship and their worshipers puts this freedom in jeopardy. The recent increase in religiously-motivated and anti-Semitic threats and attacks has shown the importance of not only exposing this hatred, but also providing institutions with increased resources for security investments to better protect places of worship in the Maryland and nationwide. I am proud that we have secured these investments to protect the ability of faith communities to come together and pray freely, safely and with peace of mind,” added Senator Van Hollen.
“Places of worship should be sanctuaries, not targets of hatred,” Senator Cardin added. “Congress has an obligation to help local communities protect the public from harm. While I regret that such a program is necessary, I was pleased with the bipartisan support to increase funding by $70 million for the nonprofit security grant program to bring funding to a total of 250 millions of dollars.
HOLOCAUST EDUCATION: Domestic Appropriations provide $62.616 million to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), an increase of $1.228 million from the FY21 enacted level. Senator Cardin led a letter, signed by Senator Van Hollen and others, advocating funding the Education Act Never Again (PL 116-141). Omnibus FY22 fully funds this important legislation and provides $2 million in funding to enhance USHMM’s Holocaust and genocide prevention education programs.
HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR AID PROGRAM: Senator Cardin, joined by Senator Van Hollen and a bipartisan group of 24 colleagues, successfully fought for a $1 million increase in the Holocaust Survivor Relief Fund for work appropriations , health and social services to $6 million in total funding. There are between 30,000 and 60,000 Holocaust survivors living in the United States, and about one-third live at or below the poverty line. They continue to live with the unique mental and physical scars of the unconscionable trauma caused by the Holocaust.
SAFE AND SECURE HOUSES OF WORSHIP: Nonprofit organizations, synagogues, churches, and other places of worship are eligible for federal support for physical security improvements and nonprofit organization activities that pose a high risk of terrorist attack through from Federal Emergency Management Agency Nonprofit Security Grant Program. $125 million will be available for nonprofits in urban areas and $125 million will be available for nonprofits in all 50 states, an increase of $70 million from the fiscal year 21.
To better monitor and respond to the growing rise of anti-Semitism overseas, omnibus appropriations for FY22 maintain $1 million specifically for use by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism.
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