Newsom Signs Law to Provide Security Funding for Jewish Institutions, Other Nonprofits

Jewish Journal
Aaron Bandler

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law on Oct. 11 that provides security funding for Jewish institutions and other nonprofit organizations at risk of being the targets of hate crimes.

The bill, AB 1548, codifies the California State Nonprofit Security Grant Program into law, enabling eligible institutions to receive up to $200,000 a year in grants for security funding. The Democratic governor committed to providing $15 million to the fund in April after the Chabad of Poway shooting.

“In a world where hate crimes and anti-Semitism are on the rise, we need more than thoughts and prayers to keep us safe,” Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel (D-San Fernando Valley), who co-sponsored AB 1548 and is vice chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, said in a statement. “This new law will provide critical resources to protect vulnerable communities and sends a powerful message that California stands firmly with those targeted by hate.”

Jewish groups praised Newsom for signing the bill into law.

“Thank you Governor Gavin Newsom for signing Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel’s Assembly Bill 1548, the California State Nonprofit Security Grant Program,” the Progressive Zionists of California said in a Facebook post. “It provides security funding to nonprofits at risk of hate motivated violence, like synagogues. It also allocates $15 million to the state’s budget for this purpose.”

Dan Mitzner, California Director of State Political Affairs for Teach CA, which is a project of the Orthodox Union, said in a statement, “The Jewish community is grateful for the creation of this program as our community faces increased anti-Semitic violence and rhetoric. This grant program allows access to additional State funding to secure our institutions, including our synagogues and day schools.”

AB 1548’s signature comes after the Oct. 9 shooting near a synagogue in Halle, Germany, that resulted in two dead. The California Department of Justice released a report on July 2 concluding that there was a 21% increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes from 2017 to 2018 in the state.

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