The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh announced today that five Pittsburgh-area applicants received $585,293 in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants for security, almost 20% of the total awarded in Pennsylvania.
“Jewish community security continues to be of paramount importance,” said Shawn Brokos, the Federation’s director of Jewish community security. “This money is a direct result of Jewish Federation’s work, which included hiring the grant writers, planning and coordinating with Jewish organizations to apply for government assistance, and advocating for these funds at the Federal level through the government affairs team at Jewish Federations of North America, our national partner.
“None of our work would happen without private donor support for the Jewish Federation. These grants are another example of multiplying donors’ impact,” said Brokos.
Local recipients were Beth El Congregation of the South Hills, Congregation Beth Shalom, Congregation Poale Zedeck, The New Riverview (part of Jewish Association on Aging) and Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh. Under FEMA guidelines, these organizations can use the money for critical security enhancements such as reinforced and secured doors, bollards (perimeter posts) and fencing.
“Working with Jewish agencies and synagogues to improve security is so important in an environment of rising antisemitism. We are grateful to our Pennsylvania and Federal elected officials and government leaders for supporting these much-needed security upgrades.”Jeffrey Finkelstein, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation
The grants come from the Federal Non-profit Security Grant Program (NSGP), which is administered through the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). Organizations apply to PEMA, which submits and applications to FEMA for evaluation and approval. The Federation assisted the application process and paid for professional grant writers Randie Engle and Ilene Cohen.