EAST BRUNSWICK – Federal funds through the Nonprofit Security Grant Program will help further secure the facility shared by Temple B’nai Shalom and the Vibrant Church.
“The first clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution protects our legal right to freely practice our religious faith, but we must ensure members of the community can safely exercise that right,” Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12) said. “Investments like this one, made through the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, can help ensure safety and peace of mind for people of faith in every community.”
Coleman, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, visited the local houses of worship earlier this month to review security upgrades funded by the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP), a federal grant that funds target hardening and other physical security enhancements and activities for nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of terrorist attack, according to a press release through the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey.
During the tour, Coleman saw firsthand how NSGP funds have been used to enhance security at the site, including with bollards, security cameras and access control features that protect the perimeter and entrances of the building, as well as other indoor advanced security measures protecting people who work in, use, and visit the building and grounds.
“As security needs grow for faith-based and other vulnerable organizations, Jewish Federation is committed to supporting elected leaders in realizing the full potential and impact of the NSGP,” said Dan Rozett, Jewish Federation’s manager, Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC).
“The Jewish community thanks Congresswoman Watson Coleman for her interest in the types of improvements the NSGP makes possible and how they are designed to save lives”
The congresswoman was joined by East Brunswick Mayor Brad Cohen, East Brunswick Township Economic Development Officer Robert Zuckerman, Temple B’nai Shalom’s Rabbi Eric Eisenkramer, South Brunswick Mayor Charlie Carley, and others from the JCRC, Coleman’s office and Cohen’s office, according to the press release.
“Jewish Federation was delighted to showcase a grant recipient’s use of NSGP funds and advocate on behalf of all nonprofits across Monmouth and Greater Middlesex counties to align NSGP scope and funding with the evolving security landscape,” said Amy Keller, director of security initiatives for Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey.
Keller explained the federation also works with Jewish nonprofits across Monmouth and Greater Middlesex counties to optimize NSGP applications, as well as implementation of the award. To date, they have helped the nonprofits receive over $11 million in federal NSGP, New Jersey state NSGP grants, and other community grant funding.
“Federation is proud to support and enhance communal security in meaningful ways. We encourage all nonprofits to make full use of, and applaud our lawmakers for supporting the NSGP,” said Susan Antman, executive director of the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey.
Cohen said, “it is unfortunate that security has become such a critical component of maintaining our houses of worship.”
“On behalf of our East Brunswick community, I would like to thank [Coleman] for her efforts to bring the federal NSGP money to our communities of faith,” he said.
Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey bolsters the Jewish community’s ability to care for vulnerable populations, push back and protect against hate and antisemitism, and inspire and empower young people to build a bright and caring future, according to the press release.