The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh is encouraging local congregations and agencies to apply for Pennsylvania security grants.
The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) announced last week that it opened solicitation for the fiscal year 2022-2023 Fall Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program, offering awards ranging from $5,000 to $150,000 (a match is required for awards exceeding $25,001) to nonprofit organizations at risk of “single bias hate crime incidents,” according to a Federation press release. A “single bias hate crime” is a hate crime aimed at one specific group of people, according to the FBI’s Hate Crime Statistics publication.
Funding requests will be accepted until Oct. 31 at 11:45 p.m. The forms can be found on PCCD’s website.
“From 2020 to 2022, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has assisted local synagogues and nonprofit organizations in getting 46 state grants totaling $2,530,078 and 13 federal grants totaling $1,395,743,” according to the press release. “This has resulted in considerable upgrades to security and training for active threat scenarios following the recent surge in attacks and antisemitism.”
The PCCD nonprofit security grant program was launched in late 2019. It has a projected goal of $5 million a year over five years, with the aim of funding security enhancements to nonprofits that could be the targets of bias crimes. Security enhancements include safety and security planning, equipment, security-related technology, training and upgrades to existing structures.
“We have worked hard in the Jewish community to guide and encourage others to apply for these essential security funds,” said Shawn Brokos, the director of community security for the Federation. “We learned, out of necessity, how important physical security is, and we readily share that knowledge and expertise with other faith-based communities. With the help of two grant writing consultants, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has been able to maximize the benefits provided by these grants, and we want our other faith-based and community partners to be able to do the same.”
In 2022, 13 state grants brought $829,963 to the local Jewish community for security enhancements. The most recent awards include:
• $25,000 awarded to Beth Hamedrash Hagodol-Beth Jacob Congregation
• $150,000 awarded to Chabad Lubavitch of South Hills, Inc.
• $25,000 awarded to Chabad of Carnegie Mellon University, Inc.
• $150,000 awarded to Chabad of Squirrel Hill Inc.
• $25,000 awarded to Chabad Young Professionals Inc.
• $14,000 awarded to Congregation Dor Hadash
• $24,943 awarded to Hillel Jewish University Center
• $25,000 awarded to Jewish Residential Services, Inc.
• $25,000 awarded to Lubavitch Center
• $150,000 awarded to Rodef Shalom Congregation
• $41,000 awarded to Temple Sinai
• $25,000 awarded to Tzohar Seminary
• $829,963 awarded to Yeshivath Achei Tmimim of Pittsburgh
• $150,000 awarded to Temple Shalom in Wheeling
“This grant provides our organization a mechanism to obtain these vital funds that otherwise they would not have access to,” said Jeffrey H. Finkelstein, the Federation’s president and CEO.
“We have been one of the strongest advocates for these funds, and the need is great.” PJC