Reform Jewish Leaders Against Security Grants, Citing Separation of Church and State

October 24, 2004

Source: Haaretz News/The Forward

On October 24, 2004 Haaretz News/The Forward reported, "the U.S.'s largest synagogue movement is discouraging congregations from seeking federal funds to pay for security improvements, warning that such a step would violate the separation of church and state. At issue is the Homeland Security Appropriations Act, a bill signed into law by President Bush earlier this month, which offers $25 million to nonprofit organizations, including churches, mosques and synagogues, for security retrofitting. The Union for Reform Judaism, representing more than 900 congregations with an estimated 1.5 million members, opposed the bill mainly on church-state grounds. Now the organization is recommending that its member-congregations not apply to the Homeland Security Department for the newly approved funds."