My Two Shekels: A Community is Too Heavy to Carry Alone

In the aftermath of the horrific attack on Chabad of Poway on April 27, our entire Jewish community mobilized to respond and support those impacted as they began the long process of recovery and healing. We know from our own biblical text that, a community is too heavy to carry alone (Deuteronomy 1:9).  We are proud of the way our community came together during those dark days.  And because of you, Federation was able to respond.
Federation professionals and lay leaders visited the victims and prayed with Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein of Chabad of Poway. We carried Chabad’s message of mitzvot wherever and whenever we could.  In partnership with Shabbat San Diego, we invited the community to “Light for Lori” in celebration of Shabbat, and to honor Lori Kaye’s z”l memory.
Federation was proud to stand alongside our partners at Jewish Family Service in Sacramento 4 weeks ago to advocate for a Hate Crimes Bill Package, which included: a budget request of $15 million for the California Nonprofit Security Grant Program; to improve accuracy in reporting hate crimes; to require peace officers to undergo extensive training on hate crimes; and to codify these dollars in the California State budget so they are available on an annual basis. This was for Jewish Public Affairs Committee (JPAC) Advocacy Day. JPAC, which we are a part of, is the largest single-state coalition of Jewish organizations in the nation and advocates on behalf of Jewish social service agencies, traditional community concerns, and broadly shared values that affect the citizens of California.
In the immediate wake of the Poway tragedy the Jewish Federation and the Jewish Community Foundation joined together to create a fund to meet the immediate physical, psychological, and spiritual needs of the victims. Initially, it was determined that the fund would address those directly impacted by the shooting, and later, additional funds would support ongoing efforts to help the community heal and feel safe moving forward.
We have dispersed 100% of the funds as follows:
1. In recognition of Chabad of Poway as the epicenter of this horrific attack, we provided an immediate grant to cover some of the expenses associated with providing community-building efforts and enhancing security needs during the first Shabbat following the shooting.  In subsequent conversations, we have come to understand Chabad of Poway’s intent to enhance their security and to refresh and remodel the interior of their lobby, sanctuary, and hallways to try and erase any resemblance of these tragic events. A grant was also made to support these efforts.
2. We consulted with our partners at Jewish Family Service regarding their work meeting the emotional needs of the victims. Requests for trauma counseling were up 15 percent and there was a need to find additional counselors who understand the unique concerns of the Orthodox community. In addition to providing a micro grant to cover some of these needs, Federation’s community Chaplain was an active addition to the trauma responders. 
3. In an effort to support our local ADL, which takes the lead on this issue, a grant was provided to strengthen their reach and potency, and, to support their ability to respond to the many and growing calls for help in meeting the security needs of our institutions.  
We are delighted to announce the Jewish Community Security Capacity Initiative, a joint venture of the Leichtag Foundation (LF), the Jewish Federation of San Diego County (JFSDC), and the Jewish Community Foundation (JCF), with important outreach and support by the Anti-Defamation League, San Diego Regional Office. 
The Initiative is designed to increase our community’s capacity to access local, state, and federal dollars, as well as private and corporate funding sources to create a stronger and more secure Jewish community. The Initiative is jointly funded by LF, JFSDC and JCF.  
The Initiative will aim to successfully position Jewish organizations and synagogues in applying for competitive security grant funding through:
o Group workshops
o Toolkits that will include resources for security funding and training 
o Information on obtaining no cost vulnerability assessments by authorized Department of Homeland Security contacts 
o Individualized coaching for grant strategy, development, compliance and reporting
o Up to $2,000 for grant writing services to each organization
o Access to contract grant writers with experience in applying for and complying with security funding
Our first workshop topic and schedule is as follows:
Workshop #1: Getting Started 
Introduction to funding opportunities, resources, and the characteristics of a successful grant proposal. Information also provided on obtaining a no-cost security vulnerability assessment (requirement for government funding) by authorized Department of Homeland Security consultants. 
Monday, July 8 
Jewish Federation of San Diego County                 
4950 Murphy Canyon Road, San Diego  
1 - 3 p.m. or 6 - 8 p.m.  
Wednesday, July 10 
Hive at Leichtag Commons
441 Saxony Road, Encinitas
6 - 8 p.m.
Please email Mitch Price at to register for a workshop.
We are very excited about the Initiative, about our collaboration with the Leichtag Foundation, JCF, and for this opportunity to be of service to our community.
Because of YOUR support of Federation, critical systems were already in place to act when it was needed most. Because of you, YOUR Federation was there when it mattered.  I am reminded of our Board Chair, Brian Tauber’s powerful message following the tragedy, “We are a resilient people, and no hate-filled bigot will defeat us. They only strengthen our resolve as a people.  While society must address the various components of the problem, in San Diego we will do our part individually and as a Federation to ensure our future.” I could not agree more. 


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