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The Hon. Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources and MP for Wpg. South Centre, was at Shaarey Zedek Synagogue on Friday morning, October 27, to announce a grant of $10,000 to the synagogue as part of the Federal Government’s Communities at Risk: Security Infrastructure Program.

During his brief remarks, Minister Carr noted that he had his bar mitzvah at the synagogue some 53 years prior. “I can still recite the opening words to my maftir off by heart, he said.”
Later, Minister Carr added that he is a member of Shaarey Zedek and attends services when he can. “As a young person, I was fully engaged in congregational activities.”

The funding announced by Minister Carr will be used to improve outdoor lighting at the synagogue in both the front & back.
In a press release issued by the Government of Canada, it was noted that Budget 2017 committed additional funding of $5 million over five years in support of SIP.
The program helps communities enhance security infrastructure against hate-motivated crimes.
“When combined with existing funding, SIP will invest up to $10 million over the next five years. Each year, $2 million will be available to help support not-for-profit organizations make needed security improvements.”

Also on hand at the announcement were Ian Staniloff, Executive Director of the synagogue, and Lorne Weiss, President.
I asked Weiss whether it is a result of heightened security precautions that the synagogue has been directing people to come in through the back door, rather than the front door, for major events such as the recently held inaugural StandWithUs event?
Weiss responded that “We feel we’re much safer by limiting access to where there are cameras”, such as exist at the back door, when it is possible to do so.