Eight Communities, One Voice
Ohio Jewish Communities December 12, 2016
Legislature passes bipartisan bill banning state contracts with companies engaged in BDS against Israel or others.
Measure also includes potential to increase investment in Israel Bonds by millions.
Ohio Jewish Communities December 13, 2016
Over $7 million to be made available with passage of "target hardening" grant program that makes State a national leader
Statement of Ohio Jewish Communities on Signing of HB 476
December 19, 2016
"With Governor Kasich's signature, Ohio becomes the latest state to stand up against the discrimination based on national origin inherent in efforts to boycott, divest, or sanction Israel. It's also a stand in support of free trade and academic freedom.
"For that alone, we, representing Ohio's Jewish communities statewide and a diverse coalition of business, academic, and faith leaders are profoundly grateful.
"But Ohio went a step further than anyone else. They included an opportunity for positive investment by the state and county treasurers in certain foreign bonds - including Israel's - allowing our state to stand with Israel in a meaningful way, helping to create even more business, trade, and research opportunities.
"Thank you Governor Kasich."
-- Howie Beigelman, executive director, Ohio Jewish Communities
Ohio Jewish Communities January 5, 2017
Yesterday, Governor John Kasich signed HB 384 into law. It had passed both chambers by wide, overwhelming, and bi-partisan margins.
Included in this law is funding of over $7.3 million to help nonprofits “target harden” their facilities against terrorist attack. Ohio is only the second state in the nation (after California) to enact such a program.
Congress Steps in On JCC Security
February 22, 2017
In the wake of some sixty bomb threats against Jewish community centers and other Jewish institutions, Congress has stepped in - and up - in a big, and bipartisan way.
In a letter coauthored by Reps. Stephanie Murphy and Joe Crowley, signed by over 150 additional Members - including at least half the Ohio delegation - Congress asks the Attorney General, the Homeland Security Secretary, and the FBI Director to pull out the stops.
They also call for more funds to vulnerable nonprofits that are the classic soft target.
The full letter is
Safer Schools & Pre-Schools Grant Enacted in Ohio’s Budget
Nonpublic schools and pre-schools see new program for funding police officers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Howie Beigelman, Executive Director; 614.463.1835
Ohio’s General Assembly passed the state’s biennial budget and Governor Kasich signed it into law on Friday, June 30. It included a historic new program to provide security personnel (school resource or special duty police officers) to chartered nonpublic schools and child care centers at risk of terrorism or hate crimes, including Jewish day schools and Jewish community centers.
“The vast majority of the recent threats across North America were aimed squarely at Jewish schools and pre-schools, and this new legislation will help keep all children, and the teachers and staff who work with them, safe,” said Howie Beigelman, Executive Director of Ohio Jewish Communities, which led the advocacy for the program.
Ohio faced a budget shortfall this year of over $1 billion, and even key priorities such as public safety met fiscal headwinds. This legislation was crafted to use state funds efficiently while still meeting this pressing public policy need. It creates a matching grant program and thus leverages state funds to provide more personnel to more locations. With expected matching funds this new initiative will be directing $1 million to much needed community safety via local law enforcement. The budget provides $250,000 per year in funding over the biennium.
“No child, and no parent, should ever have to fear a terror attack or violent hate crime will strike the very place they should feel safest,” noted Beigelman.
Ohio is fast becoming a national leader in homeland security and community safety. Coupled with the nonprofit security grant program enacted in December 2016, Ohio’s most vulnerable are now much safer. That program provided $7.3 million in “target hardening” grants to nonprofits statewide.
“In addition to our law enforcement partners, we’re incredibly proud of the bi-partisan support we received in the General Assembly, as well as our continuing partnership with Governor Kasich’s entire team. OBM Director Keen, DPS Director Born, and OHA Executive Director Zwayer have been valued – and candid – partners all along. In the Legislature, we commend the leadership of President Obhof, President Pro Tem Peterson, Majority Whip Manning, Senator LaRose and the senior leadership for working in a tough budget to meet priorities. Over in the House, Education Chairman Brenner understood this need from day one, and Speaker Rosenberger was in constant contact. Both Minority Leaders, Senator Yuko and Rep. Strahorn understood our community’s increased safety concerns as well. Both Finance Committee chairs, Ryan Smith and Scott Oelslager worked with us in a very tough budget.”
On the law enforcement side, leaders from the Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo and Cincinnati areas were partners in crafting the language and developing a program that meets security concerns and police agency staffing requirements.
“Make no mistake. The need is real. And our state’s leadership, in both the Governor’s office and the Legislature worked to meet it. In this budget environment, we consider the program’s authorization and the funding a strong message. We continue to work to secure other funding to keep as many children as possible safe,” concluded Beigelman.