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Second Appeal Brief
PA ID# 073-USSYQ-00; Chabad Hebrew Academy
PW ID# 829; Tanya Books
FEMA-1498-DR-CA; Chabad Hebrew Academy, San Diego, CaliforniaCross-Reference:
Eligible Equipment, Religious Items
The Cedar Fire started on October 25, 2003, and swept through San Diego County, California, destroying the Chabad Hebrew Academy (Academy). The Academy is an eligible private non profit, accredited educational facility, which serves 320 students from preschool through 8th grade. FEMA initially denied $2,550,000 in funding for 30,000 Tanya books (120 sets with each set containing 250 books) because of their use as a religious teaching tool. The Academy’s first appeal asserted that the books were not used for primarily religious purposes, but rather for “non-religious, educational, literary, and cultural purposes.” FEMA denied the Academy’s first appeal on October 28, 2004, stating that “the large number of copies indicated that the books were for religious education, not research and education by the public. The Academy submitted a second appeal in which the Academy stated that the Tanya books were stored by the main library, rather than kept in the main library collection itself and not directly accessed by the students. Instead they were distributed to external individuals and institutions.”
Are the Tanya Books eligible educational materials?
No. The Tanya books were stored at the school and distributed as part of the mission of the Friends of Chabad Lubavitch, San Diego, California, and not for the education of the students at the school. While the Academy may be a subsidiary of the Friends of Chabad Lubavitch, San Diego, California, Public Assistance Program funding is intended for restoring the function of the Academy, not the Friends of Chabad umbrella organization. Items that are unrelated to the education of the students at the Academy are not eligible for reimbursement.
44 CFR § 206.221 (e)(1), which defines the eligibility of a private non-profit educational facility.