URJ Camp Newman in Santa Rosa, one year after the summer camp was largely destroyed by fire (Photo/Courtesy URJ Camp Newman)
URJ Camp Newman in Santa Rosa, one year after the summer camp was largely destroyed by fire (Photo/Courtesy URJ Camp Newman)

New state budget includes money for fire-damaged Jewish camps, Holocaust museum

The newly passed California state budget includes a number of priorities backed by Jewish legislators, from rebuilding summer camps burned in wildfires to the expansion of a Holocaust museum.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the $214.8 billion budget on Thursday. The budget includes funds for health care, child care and combatting homelessness, according to the Sacramento Bee.

The budget also includes five priorities pushed by the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, a group of a senators and assembly members.

The budget allocates $23.5 million to rebuild three Jewish summer camps destroyed by wildfires: URJ Camp Newman in Santa Rosa, which was leveled by the Tubbs Fire in 2017; and two camps in Southern California destroyed by the Woolsey Fire in 2018. (Last year’s budget included $5 million for Newman.) It also allocates $15 million to the Nonprofit Grant Security Program, which helps nonprofits, including Jewish institutions, protect against violence and hate crimes.

The other caucus priorities that made it into the budget are $6 million to expand Los Angeles’ Holocaust museum, $14.8 million for a program that serves home-bound seniors and $5 million for a “restorative justice pilot program” in San Joaquin County that “will create an innovative alternative to traditional sentencing,” according to a press release.

“The Legislature and the Governor demonstrated a commitment to rebuild Jewish summer camps after the devastating fires, to protect our communities from hate-motivated violence, and to ensure Holocaust Education is a top priority,” said Assembly member Jesse Gabriel, vice chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, in a statement. “Government’s most fundamental responsibility is to protect its citizens, and everyone should feel safe and comfortable in a house of worship, regardless of their faith.”

JTA

Content distributed by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency news service.

Ben Sales
Ben Sales

JTA reporter