East Brunswick, NJ, September 1, 2022 – Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), a member of the U.S.House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, today visited a local house of worship 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.
At the invitation of Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey and the East Brunswick Mayor’s Office, Representative Watson Coleman toured the facility shared by Temple B’nai Shalom and the Vibrant Church. The Congresswoman 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). Along with Federation’s Director of Security Initiatives, Amy Keller, Rozett and Susan Antman, the organization’s Executive Director, co-led the tour with Bernard Zitomer, Temple B’nai Shalom security chair.
“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,” Rozett added.
“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,” said Congresswoman Watson Coleman. “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.”
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, Congresswoman Watson Coleman’s office and Mayor Cohen’s office.
“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.
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, helping them receive over $11 million in federal NSGP, NJ 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,” added Susan Antman.
Mayor Cohen said, that “it is unfortunate that security has become such a critical component of maintaining our house of worship. On behalf of our East Brunswick community, I would like to thank Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman for her efforts to bring the federal NSGP money to our communities of faith.”
Following today’s synagogue visit, Mayor Cohen and Mr. Zuckerman escorted Representative Watson Coleman to see public roads and buildings in East Brunswick being renovated with federal funds awarded to the township.
Click HERE to view photos of the visit.
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