Toronto synagogues get funding against hate crimes


TORONTO (JTA) — Five Toronto synagogues and a Jewish day school are the latest beneficiaries of Canadian government money to guard against hate crimes.

The Jewish facilities will share some $90,000 to defray the cost of security measures such as surveillance cameras, lighting, alarm and intercom systems, gates and fences, and related training.

The cash is part of the federal government’s $3 million, three-year Communities at Risk: Security Infrastructure Pilot (SIP) Program established in 2007 to help minority groups combat hate crimes. A condition of the grant is that recipients match the amount, either dollar-for-dollar or with services in kind.

"The unfortunate reality is that Canada is not immune to those who target individuals or groups based on their race, culture, religion or identity," Public Safety Minister Vic Toews announced Monday at Toronto’s Shaarei Shomayim Congregation, which will receive $14,948 as part of the program.

The synagogue has been the target of several hate-motivated crimes over the years, including graffiti sprayed on the building and surrounding sidewalk.

"Often hate-motivated crime can put an entire community into a state of fear and anxiety," Toews said. "This is unacceptable, and that’s why we are here today." 

Last month, a synagogue and an adult learning center in Vancouver received $20,000 from the program.

Jewish groups were the first beneficiaries of the program in 2007, when Ottawa committed $216,000 to shore up security at nine Jewish schools, community buildings and synagogues in Ontario and Alberta.

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