Federation micro-grants support security enhancements at 18 Jewish organizations

Federation micro-grants support security enhancements at 18 Jewish organizations

May 14, 2024 – The Jewish Federation of Greater Houston is in the process of awarding $105,000 in security micro-grants to Jewish schools, synagogues, and organizations across greater Houston to provide facility enhancements that prioritize keeping our people and institutions safe.

So far approximately $85,000 has been awarded to 18 organizations. At its May 8 Board meeting, the Federation awarded an additional $30,000 to fund this growing need. Initial grants have been up to $6,000 per organization. The Federation is still accepting applications for grants.

“With the rising antisemitism we have seen across the country, the Federation is continuing to reaffirm our commitment to and investment in the security of our community,” said Federation CEO Renée Wizig-Barrios. “These security micro-grants, in addition to our Houston Jewish Community Security Program, are one more way the Federation is working to ensure the safety of Jewish Houston.”

The Federation also supports Houston’s Jewish organizations in procuring national Nonprofit Security Grants, which totaled more than $1.6 million to 11 organizations in 2023. The Federation’s Community Security Director, Al Tribble, provides security assessments to support this process along with additional security guidance as part of the Federation’s Houston Jewish Community Security Program.

The micro-grants are specifically geared towards organizations that require additional target hardening and need resources quickly. Priority is given to institutions that need main entrance security enhancements and those lacking basic security elements.

Grants have funded equipment such as film on glass, locks on doors, security cameras and access control, lighting, keypads, and more.

Organizations that have received funds thus far include The Houston Mesivta, Holocaust Museum Houston, Chabad at Rice, Houston Congregation for Reform Judaism, Chabad of Cypress & Northwest Houston, Seven Acres Jewish Senior Care Services, Congregation Beth Shalom of the Woodlands, Camp Young Judaea – Texas, Temple Sinai, The Emery/Weiner School, Congregation Emanu El, UT Chabad Jewish Students Center, Chabad of the Brazos, Chabad Outreach of Houston, Yeshiva Torat Emet, United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston, Temple Beth Tikvah, and Greene Family Camp.

A Federation micro-grant enabled Yeshiva Torat Emet to purchase a security gate.

“While Homeland security grant funds are amazing and helpful, the process takes too long to wait if an important part of security equipment is broken. We are so thankful to the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston for providing us with emergency funds to purchase a new back gate when we faced a serious problem, so that we could achieve the security we needed right away,” said Joanna Pines, Yeshiva Torat Emet Director of Development.

A micro-grant also enabled the Houston Congregation for Reform Judaism (HCRJ) to enhance their security cameras.

“We are very appreciative of the Federation’s support at HCRJ,” said Bruce Shelby, HCRJ Treasurer.

For more information and to apply for a Federation security micro-grant, contact Jessica Segal at jsegal@houstonjewish.org