Money sought to protect Jewish schools

(JCC Association of North America via CNN)

A bipartisan group of House members is pushing a bill that would provide money to help protect Jewish day schools, some of which have been targeted in recent months by anti-Semitic threats and vandalism.

Rep. Emily Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, Rep. Jason Fischer, R-Jacksonville, Rep. Richard Stark, D-Weston, and Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, are asking for $1.5 million through the Department of Education to cover security upgrades such as new fences, surveillance and alarm systems and bullet-proof windows.

A regional official with the New York-based Orthodox Union is listed as the requester of the funding, which would go toward "target hardening" improvements for schools in Broward, Duval, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Orange, Palm Beach, and Volusia counties.

The funding proposal (HB 3653), filed by Fine, passed the House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee this week and now sits in the Appropriations Committee.

Slosberg's office on Thursday pointed to some 17 bomb threats to Jewish day schools so far in 2017.