Fifteen Jewish organizations in Southwestern Pennsylvania received approximately $722,000 in grant funding from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency on March 11. The funding came from the first-ever cycle of the Pennsylvania Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which was signed into law by Gov. Wolf in November 2019 to fund security upgrades for communal facilities used by nonprofit entities deemed at risk for hate crimes. The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition, in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, led lobbying efforts to pass the legislation.
“We are so grateful that the legislature recognized the need in the Greater Pittsburgh Jewish community,” said Bob Silverman, chair of the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.
“The fact that our community received nearly 15 percent of all available funds demonstrates that our elected officials have recognized and acted upon the threat to our community after the horrific violent attack on the Tree of Life synagogue building a year and a half ago.”Bob Silverman, chair of the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh
The four-week application process yielded 807 applications, with requests totaling approximately $27 million. The entirety of the funds available, $5 million, was disbursed to 113 applicants representing diverse communities throughout the state.
“The $22 million in unfunded requests show that there is a greater need for security infrastructure than anticipated,” said Silverman. “We are working with our elected officials and community partners to ensure that the Pennsylvania Nonprofit Security Grant Program is funded above and beyond $5 million next fiscal year.”