Montreal synagogues receive federal funding to improve security facilities

The grants were provided under the government’s Security Infrastructure Program (SIP).

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August 14, 2019 09:09
2 minute read.
Montreal synagogues receive federal funding to improve security facilities

MONTREAL COMBINES modern and old-world styles.. (photo credit: DAVID BRINN)

Two synagogues in Canada were granted federal funds to improve their security facilities, the Canadian Jewish News reported on Monday.

Congregation Toldos Yaacov Yosef and Congregation Kehal Toldos Yakov Yosef, both located in the Outremont borough in Montreal, Quebec, and affiliated to the Skver Hasidic community, will receive almost $100,000 combined.

The funds will be provided under the government’s Security Infrastructure Program (SIP). The SIP allows private and not-for-profit organizations to apply for grants up to $75,000 to protect themselves against hate-motivated crimes.

“There is no social license for hate in Canada,” local MP Rachel Bendayan stated in announcing the grant, as reported by the CJN.

“Our country is diverse and inclusive, but we must not take our safety and security for granted. Protecting our communities from violence, including our community centers, educational institutions and places of worship, is the right thing to do. This funding will help keep Outremont safer,” she added.

Following the attacks against two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in March and a synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018, the Canadian government doubled the SIP’s budget, bringing it to over $3M.

“Obviously the horrific attack in Pittsburgh was an opportunity to redouble the effort at examining the program,” Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told CJN after the measure was passed.

“One of the things we learned from the incident in Pittsburgh is that if people are properly trained in terms of how to respond to an active shooting incident and how to deal with a lock-down, you will probably save lives,” he added. “I think that was pretty clear from the experience in Pittsburgh.”

Canadian Jews are also pursuing additional funds and projects to protect their communities.

Earlier this month, the Federation CJA, one of Canada’s largest Jewish organizations, said it has partnered with 31 Jewish institutions as part of its Community Security Network initiative and hired an outside firm to help develop strategies for this purpose.

Several initiatives to increase public funding available to places of worship for the purpose of strengthening security measures have been recently promoted also in the US, at both the state and federal level. The need for such measures became even more apparent after a second fatal shooting targeted a synagogue in Poway, California, in April.

In May, US Senators Rob Portman, R-Ohio and Gary Peters, D-Mich, introduced Protecting Faith-Based and Nonprofit Organizations From Terrorism Act, or S. 1539, to authorize $75 million annually for fiscal years 2020-2024 for the Department of Homeland Security’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program.

The bill has yet to be approved by the Senate.

According to CJN, Toldos Yaacov Yosef and Kehal Toldos Yakov Yosef are going to use the federal funds to install security cameras, exterior lighting and access control systems.





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