In the Fall of 2021, the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Western CT, UJF of Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien, and UJA–JCC Greenwich, made a significant investment in Jewish community security through the creation of a Regional Security Initiative and the hiring of a regional security advisor (RSA), in partnership with the Secure Community Network (SCN), the official safety and security organization for the Jewish community in North America. In the program’s first year, the RSA directly assisted Southern and Western Connecticut Jewish organizations in obtaining $2.99 million through the federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP).
The NSGP is a competitive federal funding program established by Congress and administered by FEMA within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The grants are administered through states and subject to final award in the coming weeks. NSGP grants provide critical funding for security improvements at synagogues, community centers, schools, campus facilities, and other centers of Jewish life across the United States. In 2022, the RSA for Southern and Western Connecticut completed 40 comprehensive threat assessments for organizations applying for NSGP funds, resulting in significant sub-awards to fund critical security infrastructure improvements in those areas, including the Greater New Haven area.
“Securing our community organizations so Jews feel comfortable walking into synagogue or sending their kids to day school is essential to preserving Jewish life and religious freedom in the United States,” said SCN National Director and CEO Michael Masters.
“NSGP funds are a critical part of this, when used effectively and as part of a comprehensive security strategy. SCN is proud to partner with organizations at the national and local levels to access these funds. We are grateful for the strong support of the NSGP by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Administration, and throughout the United States Congress, and we join with faith communities across America to urge additional funding to meet the unprecedented need for security improvements in the face of rising threats and attacks.”
Previous NSGP grants have often yielded tangible results. A Jewish organization’s facility in Colorado was struck in a drive-by shooting, but security film on the windows, paid for with NSGP funds, stopped the bullets from entering the building. A synagogue in Georgia used an NSGP grant to implement a video surveillance system, which later enabled police to arrest a trespasser.
With the support of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, SCN provides essential resources, at no direct cost to Jewish organizations and communities throughout the Greater New Haven area, to support their NSGP efforts, including in-person and online resources, vulnerability assessments, consults on physical security solutions and strategies, grant review, guidance, support, and more.