Oakland, part of San Francisco Bay Area's East Bay
Oakland, part of San Francisco Bay Area's East BayiStock

With the American Jewish community increasingly worried about security needs in the wake of the Colleyville hostage attack, California announced that San Francisco Bay Area Jewish organizations will receive $4.2 million in state security grants.

The Tuesday announcement that 25 Bay Area Jewish organizations will each receive up to $200,000 in grants from the Office of Emergency Services will enable the institutions to add “target hardening” infrastructure, including reinforced doors, shatter-proof glass and security guards, JWeekly reported.

The San Francisco Jewish Community Federation’s Community Security Program helped 16 of the institutions with grant applications totalling $2.5 million, the Federation said in a statement.

The funding will be used for security improvements, training, and hiring guards, the Federation said.

“I’m so pleased that the State of California came through with increased support to our Bay Area Jewish community,” said Joy Sisisky, the Federation’s interim CEO. “Thanks to annual campaign and designated gifts, our Community Security Team provided vulnerability assessments and hired a grant consultant to provide application guidance. As a result, every single organization that we assisted was awarded a grant.”

“We are living in unsafe times, and, the Federation remains committed to providing the resources, guidance and expertise to keep our Jewish community safe, thanks to the support of our donors,” Sisisky added.

Rabbi Perry Tirschwell, whose South Peninsula Hebrew Day School was the recipient of a grant, said that thanks to the Federation’s help with their application, including an expert vulnerability assessment, they “plan to put up an eight-foot-tall iron fence and motorized driving gates, which will connect to our current fences. This grant should cover all of our expenses.”

Julie Vicek-Burke, director of development at Jewish Community High School of the Bay, explained that the community is going through "anxiety and a sense of vulnerability" in response to rising antisemitism.

"This grant enables us to address those concerns in tangible ways,” Vicek-Burke said.