Jewish Federation Investment in Security Pays Off for Community

By: The Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ
 
SOUTH RIVER, N.J. - July 20, 2016 - PRLog -- The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey announced today that 16 Jewish organizations throughout Monmouth and Middlesex Counties are among the 58 recipients statewide of non-profit grants awarded by the Homeland Security's Non-Profit 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," according to Ken Philmus, Security Taskforce Chair for the Jewish Federation. "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 fact that the Jewish community received a quarter of all grants reflects the support applicants received during the application process from the Federation and local law enforcement partners working with the Federation."

The Federation worked closely with the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office on the security effort. "The Monmouth County Sheriff's Office proudly supports our non-profit 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. "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.

"These difficult times mean that security must be a higher priority, and an important part of the Federation's work," said Philmus. "With 21 counties in the state, the Federation's partners in Monmouth and Middlesex were awarded one out of every four grants. I'm so proud of the efforts put forth by the Federation's very dedicated Security Task Force in helping address our community's 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. Measures which will translate into a $3.75 million increase for security of 150,000 non-public school students, including 41,600 students in Jewish community day schools and yeshivas, are now awaiting the Governor's approval, according to Keith Krivitzky, CEO of the Jewish Federation.

The Federation's broader and ongoing communication with lawmakers recently focused on the New Jersey State Assembly's approval of A925/S1923 – the anti-BDS legislation prohibiting the state from investing pension/annuity funds in companies that boycott Israel or Israeli businesses. The bill was passed unanimously by the State Senate and is currently on the Governor's desk awaiting review. It indicates there should be limits to efforts to delegitimize and harm the state of Israel, added Krivitzky.

For more information regarding the Federation's work advancing concerns of the Jewish community within the civic arena, contact Amy Keller, amyk@jewishheartnj.org, 732-588-1800, or visit jewishheartnj.org.


The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey fosters a caring and vibrant community thriving together. It is the one organization in Monmouth and Greater Middlesex counties whose programs, partners, and problem-solving address the widest range of needs in the Jewish community, focusing on caring for the vulnerable whenever and wherever they are in need; investing in a strong Jewish future by inspiring young people to embrace their Jewish identity; enabling more Jews to find their path in a vibrant Jewish community; and forging strong connections to support Jews in Israel and elsewhere overseas.
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