ADL Will Not Oppose Sandy Shul Aid

Watchdog Opposed Federal Assistance to Houses of Worship

By Seth Berkman

Published February 21, 2013.

The Anti-Defamation League will not oppose a bill that would provide federal relief aid for houses of worship, after originally opposing the idea.

The ADL had stated in January that, “a taxpayer should not have to fund a religion or a religious institution with which he or she disagrees.”

In an update their remarks in January, on Wednesday, the ADL said in recognizing the tragic and significant humanitarian needs remaining from Hurricane Sandy, the organization, “will not oppose pending legislation making funding available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help rebuild any institution destroyed or seriously damaged in this storm.”

In their latest statement, the ADL maintains their concerns over the risk of religious liberty at stake and that, “FEMA funding in this instance should not be interpreted as conveying any endorsement of religion.”

It was not clear what sparked the U-turn. The Forward has reached out to the ADL for comment, but as of press time, a representative from the ADL was not available.

In New York area, where the storm damaged 72 synagogues, editorials in favor of the bill have been printed by the New York Post andNewsday.

The headline on this article was updated on February 22.



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