The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) commends the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for advancing the Pray Safe Act, which will help faith-based organizations and houses of worship protect themselves by streamlining information on security best practices, federal grants, and training in a central clearinghouse.
"Faith-based and communal institutions across the country should be able to gather for religious worship and service without fearing for their safety," said JFNA CEO Eric Fingerhut.
"Protecting the ability of all Americans to live out their faith and gather as a community without fear or harm is one of the most important duties of the federal government."
The Jewish Federations thank Ranking Member Rob Portman (R-OH) for introducing the Pray Safe Act with Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and for Chairman Gary Peters (D-MI), Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) for co-sponsoring the bill.
We further commend the committee for advancing the bill by voice vote, with no objections, and entering The Jewish Federations' letter of support into the Congressional record.
In recent years, Domestic Violent Extremists have targeted worshippers in the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a mosque used by Somali immigrants in Garden City, Kansas, and the Temple Emanuel Synagogue in Pueblo, Colorado.
The Pray Safe Act will help faith-based organizations and houses of worship secure the resources they need to protect themselves from Domestic Violent Extremists, and as Ranking Member Portman articulated during consideration of the bill, “to make government work better.