Our community continues to grieve the horrific loss of life from the most devastating acts of anti-Semitism in American Jewish history. We struggle to process a new reality following the Pittsburgh and Poway tragedies – one that has us living at a time when, across the United States, anti-Semitic incidents are reaching historic levels. In 2018, there were 1,879 recorded attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). That was the third-highest year on record since the 1970s, when the ADL first started tracking anti-Semitic attacks. California saw a 27% rise in anti-Semitic incidents in 2018.
These issues have led to reevaluation of Jewish facility/campus security to ensure that buildings and open spaces are as safe as possible, while remaining welcoming. Adequately addressing security measures requires continuous attention, knowledge and funding.
Support is needed to educate and build the capacity of San Diego Jewish organizations to pursue security vulnerability assessments, find funds needed to cover security infrastructure gap costs, and submit competitive funding applications. This is particularly true for smaller organizations with limited administration and fundraising infrastructures. Leichtag Foundation staff has substantial experience with general program development and grants management, particularly with private and government security grants. Over the last decade, Foundation staff have informally consulted about these resources to more than a dozen organizations and have developed specific experience through obtaining and managing security grants for Leichtag Commons.
Based on past assistance requests and others that have come in since the Pittsburgh and Poway shootings, the Leichtag Foundation, the Jewish Community Foundation San Diego, and the Jewish Federation of San Diego County are proud to collaborate on the Jewish Community Security Capacity Initiative, which is designed to increase our community’s capacity to access competitive local, state and federal dollars as well as private and corporate funding, to create a stronger and more secure Jewish community in San Diego. The Leichtag Foundation, the Jewish Community Foundation San Diego and the Jewish Federation will jointly fund the Initiative.