Rabbi Jason Rodich at the entrance to Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco, which has long used metal detectors and unarmed guards to screen people coming into the building. (Photo/Sue Barnett)
Rabbi Jason Rodich stands outside the entrance to Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco as an unarmed guard to screens people coming into the building, July 2019. (Photo/Sue Barnett)

Jewish orgs in California now eligible for $200,000 state security grants

California synagogues, Jewish day schools, JCCs and other Jewish nonprofits are eligible to apply for a record amount of state funding to protect their nonprofits from antisemitic violence over the next four weeks.

California’s Legislative Jewish Caucus helped secure a record $47.5 million this year for the California Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which opened for applications on Oct. 14.

Jewish nonprofits have until Nov. 19 to conduct a security assessment and apply for a grant from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. Eligible institutions may receive up to $200,000 to fund efforts geared toward hardening security infrastructure to defend against violent attacks and antisemitic hate crimes.

Unlike the federal nonprofit security grant program, which focuses on physical infrastructure upgrades alone — such as new fencing, security cameras and reinforced doors — the state grant allows for broader uses, such as hiring security personnel.

In 2020, due to a state deficit caused by the pandemic, the program received no funding. In 2019, the year the grant program was established, it received $15 million from state funds.

Jesse Gabriel
Jesse Gabriel

“The amount of funding we’ve had in previous years was insufficient to meet the need,” California State Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills), who authored the legislation to establish the permanent program, said. He wrote the bill in the wake of the 2019 Chabad of Poway shooting that left one dead and three injured.

“We unfortunately find ourselves in a position as a community where we have to take extra steps to protect ourselves,” Gabriel, who chairs the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, said. He noted that the program was “tremendously oversubscribed” in 2019, which is why he pushed for more funding this year.

Gabriel’s legislation was also championed by the Jewish Caucus in partnership with the LGBTQ and Asian and Pacific Islander caucuses.

Applications must be submitted by email to [email protected] by Nov. 19 at 5:00 p.m.

Emma Goss
Emma Goss

Emma Goss is a J. staff writer. She is a Bay Area native and an alum of Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School and Kehillah Jewish High School. Emma also reports for NBC Bay Area. Follow her on Twitter @EmmaAudreyGoss.