On Wednesday, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania announced this year’s awards of nonprofit security grants. Of the $5 million pool available to ALL nonprofits throughout our entire state, the Pittsburgh area Jewish community was granted $1,052,692, more than 20% of the total. These grants are directed to 20 different synagogues and agencies for specific target hardening.
What is the role Federation played in effectuating this accomplishment? Our Federation along with the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition (an agency in Harrisburg funded by the Jewish Federations of Pennsylvania) successfully lobbied to include this new $5 million budget line for nonprofit security two years ago. Through our collective efforts, it was renewed in this year’s state budget. Our Jewish Community Security Director conducted facility assessments necessary to apply for these grants. Further, we hired two grant writers to work with our synagogues and agencies to help them prepare the most accurate and compelling grant requests. The right strategy with strong supports resulted in the Pittsburgh Jewish community raising more than the Philadelphia Jewish community (a community five times our size). Those who know me well, know that I like to say, “I’m not competitive, I just want to win.”
Federation is here to build community. We do so through our planning, community relations work, initiatives to serve Jewish communal organizations centrally and by being the “best in class” in securing financial resources for our community. The Community Campaign powers both our security work and our government relations efforts. Through those initiatives we are able to leverage additional financial resources towards critical communal needs like these grants from the state.
A dollar contributed to the Federation Community Campaign is amplified, multiplied and leveraged to have maximum impact. This is a shining example of how it works so well.
Remember to change your clocks this weekend. Keep wearing your mask. Shabbat Shalom!