California Nonprofit Security Grant Expansion Signed into Law
Governor Newsom Signs Bill Directing State Funds to Jewish Federations and Other Organizations Offering Lifesaving Security Services to At-Risk Institutions
October 9, 2023
SACRAMENTO, CA – Yesterday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 1185, authored by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D–San Fernando Valley) and a top priority for JPAC. AB 1185 expands the eligibility for the California State Nonprofit Security Grant Program (CSNSGP) to include “community connectors,” nonprofits like Jewish Federations that play a critical role in ensuring the safety of a large network of at-risk institutions. It passed both houses of the legislature with unanimous, bipartisan support.
“There are community support organizations that play a critical role in ensuring the safety of a large network of at-risk nonprofits,” said David Bocarsly, JPAC’s Executive Director. “Expanding the Nonprofit Security Grant Program to support the security training, vulnerability assessments, and monitoring and response systems that Jewish Federations and other community connectors provide will make this already vital program that much more impactful. It’s unfortunate that security infrastructure has become so important, but we are deeply grateful to Assemblymember Gabriel for continuing to shape and reshape this program to most effectively serve Jewish and all vulnerable communities, and to Governor Newsom for his consistent support.”
Previously, the CSNSGP could only fund institutions to enhance their own physical security infrastructure. This new law would allow grant funds to support the security training, vulnerability assessments, and monitoring and response systems that community connectors provide to many institutions that keep our community safe. This will allow community security initiatives at local Jewish Federations that provide security support to synagogues to expand their work, and create a pathway for AAPI, LGBTQ, and other faith community organizations to offer a similar service to their at-risk institutions.
“California will not stand idly by while our vulnerable communities are targeted by violent extremists,” said Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Encino), Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus. “This legislation will strengthen our ability to target security resources where they are most needed and make it clear that California stands with all communities targeted by hate. I am grateful to Governor Newsom for his leadership in addressing hate crimes and standing up to violent extremists.”
JPAC was the lead sponsor of the bill, with critical support from the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, the San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, and JCRC Bay Area. JPAC also organized 31 Jewish organizations to sign on in support, and it became a priority for the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, which Assemblymember Gabriel co-chairs.
“We are thrilled that Governor Newsom has signed this important piece of legislation,” said Rabbi Noah Farkas, President & CEO, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. “This bill will allow our Federation’s security work, led by our Community Security Initiative and our partners across the state, to better protect countless community members. Thank you to the Governor, Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, and the California Legislative Jewish Caucus for prioritizing Jewish communal security, and the security of other targeted groups in California. This legislation was the result of another successful collaboration between our Federation and our valued partners at the Jewish Public Affairs Committee.”
Joy Sisisky, CEO, Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund: “As antisemitism persists at historically high levels, including in the Bay Area, we are grateful to Governor Gavin Newsom, Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel and the California Legislature for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which will enhance the Federation’s security trainings, consultations, and other vital assistance to the Jewish community.”
“Governor Newsom is keenly aware of the heightened security environment our community and other minority groups face today, and we appreciate his leadership in signing AB 1185,” said Tyler Gregory, CEO, JCRC Bay Area. “We are also grateful to our partners in the Legislative Jewish Caucus who have championed this bill on our community’s behalf, recognizing the need to expand access and participation in the critical security grants program.”
This is the third bill authored by Assemblymember Gabriel and signed by Governor Newsom that establishes and modifies the CSNSGP. The previous two bills were AB 1548 (2019) – codifying the program into law – and AB 1664 (2022) – expanding the program to fund security training. The state legislature has also put $135 million towards the CSNSGP under Governor Newsom’s administration. JPAC and the Jewish Caucus championed these bill and budget requests each year.
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Contact: David Bocarsly, JPAC Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org