Matzie: $12,000 grant to boost security for Beaver County synagogue

Allegheny County organizations awarded more than $1.5 million

AMBRIDGE, March 10 – As more community organizations begin plans to reopen, a $12,000 state grant to Beth Samuel Jewish Center in Ambridge will help Beaver County’s oldest operating synagogue meet security needs, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today.

Matzie said the grant, awarded under the Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program to protect potential hate-crime targets, will ensure that when the congregation – which suspended activities during the pandemic – decides to welcome back families, it will be able to provide the safest possible environment.

"We need to ensure that the folks returning are safe from security risks," Matzie said. “The funding will help ensure those protections are in place.”

In addition to the funding to Beth Samuel, Matzie said 29 organizations in Allegheny County were awarded grants totaling approximately $1.53 million.

He said organizations may use the funding for a broad range of resources, including safety and security planning and training, threat assessments, security upgrades, and the purchase of metal detectors, electronic locksets, surveillance equipment and other technology.

The grants are part of a larger package of more than $5 million awarded under the Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program, which provides funding to nonprofit organizations serving people or groups the FBI has identified as potential hate-crime targets. Now in its second year, the program was established by Act 83 of 2019, largely in response to the Tree of Life shootings in Pittsburgh.

It is administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

Because of the large number of applications and limited funding, priority was given to applicants whose organization or membership was the victim of a hate crime and had clearly justified a credible hate-crime threat.

More about the grants is available