Tuesday, April 30, 2019


Gov. Gavin Newsom promised on Monday to spend an additional $15 million on increasing security for synagogues, mosques, women’s health organizations, LGBTQ service organizations and other institutions vulnerable to violent attacks from disgruntled bigots and other attackers...

The state Legislature’s Jewish Caucus had requested the increase, and for good reason.

Hate crimes in California involving a religion increased by 21 percent in 2017 (the most recent year for which data are available). In fact, hate crimes for nearly every vulnerable group in California increased in 2017.

It’s encouraging to see Newsom take seriously the matter of protection for all Californians. His announcement certainly draws a welcome contrast with President Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric.


Monday, April 29, 2019


Shocked by Saturday's mass shooting at the Chabad of Poway, Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed Monday to significantly increase funds for security at synagogues, mosques and other religious institutions in California that face threats of hate-motivated violence.

Newsom announced his support after the 14-member California Legislative Jewish Caucus made an urgent request for $15 million to be budgeted this year for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which only provided $500,000 last year...

“With the stark rise in hate-motivated violence, we must do more to secure gathering places to prevent future attacks, and educate people on the dangers of anti-Semitism and hate of all forms,” said Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), chairman of the caucus.


Monday, April 29, 2019

BY SOPHIA BOLLAG - Sacramento Bee

Gov. Gavin Newsom, Senator Ben Allen and Assemblyman Jessie Gabriel are adding $15 million to a proposed budget to fund security at places of worship and nonprofit organizations at risk of hate-based violence...

The deadly shooting on the last day of the Jewish holiday Passover “shattered the illusion of safety” for religious people in the United States, said state Sen. Ben Allen, a Santa Monica Democrat who chairs of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus...

“We need more than thoughts and prayers to keep us safe from hate-motivated violence,” said Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel, a Los Angeles Democrat who authored a bill to fund security at nonprofits like synagogues.


Monday, April 29, 2019


California’s Democratic governor vowed on Monday to spend $15 million for increased security at “soft targets” like the synagogue where a gunman opened fire over the weekend, killing one worshipper...

The California Legislative Jewish Caucus had requested it, calling for a 30-fold increase in a state program that last year spent $500,000 on grants to nonprofits organizations vulnerable to hate crimes...

California’s Jewish lawmakers want the state to spend much more on security guards, reinforced doors and gates, high-intensity lighting and alarms, and other security for vulnerable institutions. Those include Muslim, Sikh and other minority institutions, women’s health groups and LGBTQ organizations.

“The unfortunate reality is that even in houses of worship, thoughts and prayers won’t keep us safe,” said Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel, a Democrat from Encino and vice chairman of the caucus. “We need more than thoughts and prayers. We need real security and we need the state to step up and play a role in that.”...

“I think it is the most basic and fundamental obligation of government, to protect its citizens,” Gabriel said. “And after what we saw in Pittsburgh at the Tree of Life and after what we saw in New Zealand, we looked at that $500,000 and said, ‘This is insufficient.’”


Monday, April 29, 2019

BY ALEXEI KOSEFF - San Francisco Chronicle

Surrounded by two dozen lawmakers, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that his revised budget proposal will include $15 million for grants to nonprofit groups to improve security at buildings — such as mosques, synagogues, churches and LGBT community centers — that are frequented by people at risk of being attacked because of who they are or what they believe...

The California Legislative Jewish Caucus requested the funding increase this month, following an attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, that left 50 people dead and a shooting last fall in which 11 people were killed at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

“I know it feels on some days like our world is unraveling, like every day we wake up and read about another act of hate-motivated violence. But we cannot accept this, we cannot accept this new normal,” said Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel, an Encino Democrat who is vice chair of the Jewish caucus.


Monday, April 29, 2019

USC Shoah Foundation has received a resolution from both houses of the California Legislature on Monday that commemorated the Institute’s 25th anniversary, the same day as an event at the State Capitol in honor Yom HaShoah, a day of remembrance for the 6 million Jews killed during the Holocaust...

Governor Gavin Newsom later stopped by a reception for the California Legislative Jewish Caucus and met Smith for a few minutes. Sen. Ben Allen, chairman of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, stressed the importance of Holocaust education.

“Unfortunately, we are losing more and more of our teachers, our survivors, our martyrs every year,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons why taping their stories, recording their stories, remembering the victims, is such an important thing.”


Monday, April 29, 2019

Sacramento, CA – Today, the California Legislature observed Holocaust Remembrance Day at the State Capitol and hosted ten Holocaust Survivors who shared their stories on the Assembly floor. The California Legislative Jewish Caucus also held a press conference attended by Governor Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, leaders of the other ethnic caucuses, and other state legislators.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Sacramento, CA – The California Legislative Jewish Caucus released the following statement in response to the shooting at a Chabad synagogue in Poway, California:

"We are horrified to hear about a shooting at the Chabad in Poway on Shabbat. The news is still developing, but we know that one person was killed and several were injured, including a child. 

Thursday, April 11, 2019


A number of Bay Area and Sacramento synagogues and Jewish institutions have received federal grants of up to $150,000 to defend against terror attacks, with monies allocated for training and infrastructure upgrades such as alarms, blast-resistant doors, shatterproof glass and other protections

The grants have become more relevant since last year’s deadly shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. “It has been a warning of what could come if we don’t protect institutions that might be targeted,” said Marc Levine, a member of the state Assembly for the North Bay...

Levine said the California Legislative Jewish Caucus has been promoting the grants and advocating for an increase in allocations. “We’ve been modestly successful the past few years,” said Levine, a caucus member. “But we know there has been a great need to grow this.”


Monday, March 18, 2019


Speakers at the Mill Valley gathering included Assemblyman Marc Levine, ... who represents the North Bay and helped found the California Legislature’s Jewish caucus, noted that he had attended a church service in Marin City after the shooting at an African American church in South Carolina in 2015 and gone to a Shabbat service following the Pittsburgh massacre

Levine said that one way to help prevent future tragedies would be to provide state grants for security improvements at places of worship.

“White supremacy is a growing threat, and we have to do everything we can to make sure that threat is never realized.”