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For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and the County Council have expedited $311,700 in Nonprofit Security Grant funding to Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and Zoroastrian communities in Montgomery County. Since the outbreak of violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip, concern has risen that these communities have been, or will be, threatened by violence and other crimes motivated by hate and bias. These awards will provide immediate assistance to those organizations to invest in various security measures to protect their communities and facilities.

“The conflict in the Middle East has created a heightened level of security concern in the Muslim and Jewish communities in Montgomery County,” said County Executive Elrich. “I have spoken with religious and community groups about the challenges they are facing, and the need to enhance security is paramount. As a result, I am expediting additional security funding. We will not tolerate acts of hate by anyone. I hope all of us can grieve as we need to, but that we can also restrain ourselves from lashing out at our neighbors and friends. What has happened abroad should not change how we interact with people here at home. I want to thank the community organizations, especially Ron Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), for working with us to move this quickly. I am determined do everything in my power to make sure that Montgomery County remains a safe place for all.”

To view the full list of the organizations receiving funds, click here. Allocation of these funds will be in accordance with the existing Nonprofit Security Grant Program already approved by the Montgomery County Council.

“Montgomery County leaders are committed to doing everything we can to keep our residents safe and secure, especially in community gathering spaces and places of worship,” said County Council President Evan Glass. “Given the escalating tensions across the world related to the ongoing violence in the Middle East, the Nonprofit Security Grant Program is a critical part of our efforts to keep residents safe. Hate has no home in Montgomery County. Our community continues its steadfast commitment to acceptance, equity and inclusion. As one of the most diverse communities in the nation, we are united in our efforts to ensure that all our residents feel welcome, safe and seen.”

JCRC Executive Director Halber noted how quickly the County moved to free up this money.

"The JCRC of Greater Washington is grateful to County Executive Elrich and the Montgomery County Council for expediting the allocation of security dollars to institutions that are at even greater risk because of the war in Israel and Gaza," said Mr. Halber. "We are fortunate to be in a County where our elected leadership strongly prioritizes the safety of all its citizens."

A statement from the Montgomery County Muslim Council (MCMC) Board of Directors also expressed gratitude for the assistance.

“In response to the disturbing rise in hate crimes, including Islamophobia, we appreciate the decisive and proactive measures taken by County Executive Marc Elrich and the County Council for recognizing the need for immediate funding to help protect faith-based institutions and other vulnerable groups," said the statement from MCMC. "It is imperative to ensure the safety and security of these spaces, where individuals come together to worship, find solace, and build community. We are hearing from too many in our community who have experienced first-hand bigotry and are afraid to be visible as Muslims for fear of physical or verbal abuse. MCMC and the Muslim community appreciate Montgomery County’s steadfast commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of all communities.”

For more information on the Montgomery County Nonprofit Security Grant program, please visit

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Release ID: 23-467
Media Contact: Joe Dominguez 240-743-8865
Categories: Grants, Public Safety