The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey announced that 16 Jewish organizations throughout Monmouth and Middlesex counties are among the 58 recipients statewide of nonprofit grants awarded by the Homeland Security’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program.
The grants are intended for security equipment, such as cameras and surveillance systems, lighting, card access readers, blast film, fencing and bollards (short posts used to protect an area against vehicles).
“In total, New Jersey-based applicants received $4.26 million, more than double than last year,” said Security Taskforce Chair for the Jewish Federation Ken Philmus. “The number of Jewish organizations receiving grants represents a five-fold increase from 2015. It will bring more than a million dollars in security upgrades to the Jewish community.”
The Federation worked closely with the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office on the security effort.
“The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office proudly supports our nonprofit partners and is particularly pleased that, through our efforts, we were able to assist the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey and its partners with obtaining Homeland Security grants,” said Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden in a press release. “Unfortunately, the threat of violence continues to affect many religious organizations, and residents must remain highly vigilant and prepared. That’s why this funding is vital when it comes to planning initiatives and enhancing security.”
According to Philmus, the Sheriff’s Office advised the Federation and its partners in applying for grants and accompanied them in security assessments of local synagogues and organizations. Many Jewish organizations attended a New Jersey Office of Homeland Security workshop for prospective grant applicants. The Jewish Federation’s Security Taskforce provided additional information about security needs and grant writing and coordinated security risk assessments for prospective applicants.
The focus of the Federation’s security taskforce is stated as bringing enhanced awareness and preparedness to the community as well as the tools and knowledge to respond to security needs.
In addition to the work of its Security Taskforce, the Jewish Federation has been working with the New Jersey State Association of Jewish Federations and Teach NJS to advocate for an increase in security funding for private and parochial school students.