Jewish groups split on funds for Sandy-damaged synagogues

January 6, 2013 18:22

WASHINGTON -- Jewish organizations are split on whether federal emergency funds should be used to salvage houses of worship.

The Orthodox Union and the American Jewish Committee backed an amendment introduced by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) just before the 112th Congress retired that would have designated Superstorm Sandy relief money to houses of worship, the New York Times reported Friday.

The amendment never made it to the floor and Lieberman is now retired, but other lawmakers may take up similar legislation in the 113th Congress now in session.

Also backing the legislation is Agudath Israel of America. The New York Jewish Federation has counseled constituent synagogues to apply for Federal Emergency Management Agency money. FEMA rules do not necessarily count out such assistance.

The Anti-Defamation League opposes such assistance, however.

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