The Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition (PJC) commends Governor Wolf and the Pennsylvania legislative caucuses for a new budgetary allocation of $4.5 million in further support of the Non-Profit Security Grant program (Act 83 of 2019). Act 83 of 2019 is a five-year program to help improve the security of non-profit communal spaces in Pennsylvania. In 2019, grants totaling $5 million were funded through the program, and another $5 million in grants were funded in 2020. Thanks to bipartisan cooperation, this year’s allocation almost matched those of previous years.
The non-profit security grant program allocates funds to protect institutions that are targets of violent hate crimes, through security upgrades for communal facilities used by churches, synagogues mosques, JCCs, YMCAs and other non-profit entities deemed at risk.
“The PJC is grateful to Governor Wolf, the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic and Republican Caucuses and the House of Representatives’ Democratic Caucus for their cooperative efforts to continue funding this program with the goal of keeping our religious and communal facilities safe from acts of violence and hate,” said Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition Chairman Marc Zucker. “As demonstrated so tragically in the Tree of Life massacre in Pittsburgh and most recently by the hostage incident at the Beth Israel synagogue in Texas, there is a clear demand for protecting such institutions and those who worship there. Through the first two years of the program, with a limited amount of funding, only a third of the facilities applying for the security grants were able to receive grants.”
“As hate crimes have markedly increased in recent years, and white supremacist groups have proliferated, the need for security upgrades at our communal institutions was apparent,” Zucker continued. “Our state political leaders have shown their support and leadership to fight hate and violence by striving to make our communal facilities safe and secure. Over the past three years, $14.5 million have been allocated through this critical program. The Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition applause these efforts to assure a safe and secure future for all Pennsylvanians