In response to more than 100 bomb threats against Jewish community centers across the country, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin has cosponsored bipartisan legislation to address this latest crisis. The proposed legislation would ensure that the Dept. of Homeland Security provide state and local law enforcement with adequate resources to protect faith-based community centers across the U.S.
The legislation would provide $20 million in additional funding to the Department of Homeland Security under the existing State Homeland Security Grant Program specifically dedicated to safeguarding faith-based community centers. Additionally, it would double the federal penalty against making fake bomb threats from five years to 10 years.
“We must stand with JCC Milwaukee, Jewish community centers across the country and the international Jewish community,” said Senator Baldwin. “This bipartisan legislation will help community centers in Wisconsin and across the country continue to educate young Americans, provide vital wellness services and build stronger, more compassionate communities in safety.”
The bipartisan legislation was introduced by Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Dean Heller (R-NV) and is supported by the Jewish Community Center Association (JCCA), and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
I support Sen. Baldwin’s work. As a Unitarian, I believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and a free and responsible search for truth and meaning. I believe it is critical to pay attention to threats against people of any faith, race or sexual identity. As Elie Wiesel said, in accepting the 1986 Peace Prize, “Mankind must remember that peace is not God’s gift to his creatures, it is our gift to each other.” Never forget.
Ellison Bay, Wis.