Poway Chabad granted security grant one month before attack

Rabbi Simcha Backman, who oversees security grants for more than 200 area Chabads told AP that, “Obviously, we did not have a chance to start using the funds yet.”

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
May 5, 2019 12:39
1 minute read.
Poway Chabad granted security grant one month before attack

A makeshift memorial was placed by a light pole a block away from a shooting incident where one person was killed at the Congregation Chabad synagogue in Poway, north of San Diego, California.. (photo credit: JOHN GASTALDO/REUTERS)

The Chabad of Poway had applied for a federal grant to beef up security at its California synagogue, according to an exclusive report by the Associated Press.

The synagogue received a grant of $150,000 in September to install gates and more secure doors, but the money was only awarded in March. The synagogue applied for the grant in May 2018.
Rabbi Simcha Backman, who oversees security grants for more than 200 area Chabads told AP that, “Obviously, we did not have a chance to start using the funds yet.”


Backman said that Chabad of Poway is considering asking authorities to allow some of the money to be used to hire security guards, which it does not have now.


That request would come at the right time, according to a separate report by the Jewish syndication service, JNS


The Department of Homeland Security will for the first time allow recipients of its Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) to use the funding to hire armed personnel, though they must be contracted security personnel or from a local police department, JNS reported.


Numerous nonprofits depend on NSGP grants to protect them from security threats. These grants have typically been applied for what is called “target hardening,” the strengthening of the security of a building to protect it in the event of attack. Some $60 million in NSGP grants was allocated in 2019.


JNS said that recipients may be able to use up to 50% of the grant toward armed security and, if a waiver is obtained, maybe even more. 


Organizations can still apply for such grants until May 10.


According to AP. the Poway synagogue had already received a $75,000 grant in 2010 to install security systems and alarms, to conduct a security assessment and install 16 cameras, fencing and lighting.



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