California Jewish nonprofit organizations, synagogues, day schools and community centers are now eligible for a record amount of state grant money to use for improving security against anti-Semitic incidents.
The historic $47.5 million in funding from the California Nonprofit Security Grant Program was in part secured by the state’s Legislative Jewish Caucus.
Applications for the grant money will be accepted until November 19, with Jewish groups having to also provide a security assessment along with a grant application to the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
Organizations are entitled to receive as much as $200,000 each to improve security infrastructure in order to protect against anti-Semitic violence and hate crimes.
While federal nonprofit security grants generally focus on traditional infrastructure, such as security cameras, doors and fences, the California program will also provide funding for hiring more security professionals.
“The amount of funding we’ve had in previous years was insufficient to meet the need,” California State Assembly member Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills), the author of the legislation, told JWeekly. “We unfortunately find ourselves in a position as a community where we have to take extra steps to protect ourselves.”
Gabriel, the chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, said that the program, which began in 2019 after the deadly Chabad of Poway shooting, was originally overwhelmed with applications which was why they created a larger pool of funding for the coming year.