AIJAC welcomes government’s new “Securing Faith-based Places” grant program
May 18, 2023 | AIJAC
The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) today welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of a $40 million Securing Faith-based Places grant program to replace the former Safer Communities Fund. AIJAC also expressed appreciation for the timeliness of the announcement given the recent spate of attacks on synagogues around the world, including most recently the attack in Djerba, Tunisia, in which five people were killed earlier this month.
While the full details of the grants program are yet to be finalised, AIJAC extended its gratitude to the Federal Government for recognising the urgent need of the Australian Jewish community, together with other ethnic and religious groups, to take measures to keep their institutions safe.
AIJAC Executive Director Dr Colin Rubenstein stated, “The Australian Jewish community is not exempt from the effects of the marked increase in antisemitic rhetoric and activity that has been identified by monitors globally. This expanded grants program will hopefully allow institutions across the Jewish community to apply for the security funding that is an unfortunate necessity today – in the wake of attacks on Jewish Institutions around the world, in the US, Europe, Tunisia and elsewhere, including the infamous attack on Sydney’s Hakoah Club in 1982. Other Australian centres of faith, such as mosques and Hindu temples, have also come under attack.
“We thank the Government for taking steps to help meet our community’s essential security needs, and hope and expect it will continue to do so in assessing any specific grant requests made on the community’s behalf by security groups and other communal institutions.”