Jewish Groups Debate Whether to Accept Federal Funding for Synagogues

February 24, 2004

Source: United Jewish Communities

On February 24, 2004 United Jewish Communities reported, "Behind the scenes at this year's Jewish Council for Public Affairs plenum, officials were debating how to reconcile steadfast support by some Jewish groups for strict separation between church and state with the growing need for money to ease soaring post-Sept. 11 security costs. Especially contentious is whether the money should go to synagogues and day schools. Those involved say there is an understanding that it would be best not to announce a policy until there is agreement on the issue, given historic divisions in the organized Jewish community over church-state separation... UJC likely will look to the annual Homeland Security appropriations in Congress in the coming weeks for security assistance for non-profit organizations that are high-risk targets of terrorist attacks." U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), ranking minority member of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, may be a key ally on this issue, insiders say.