Today, one of Federation's major security advocacy initiatives bore not just fruit, but a bumper crop. Governor Murphy signed into law -- in large part due to Federation advocacy -- the NJ Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP), which we also helped conceive, shape, and expand. This makes the program permanent and means faith and nonprofit organizations in NJ can be more proactive in prioritizing security for all.
"Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ, along with neighboring Federations, interfaith partners, and legislators, has been integral to the formulation, creation, and expansion of the NSGP since its inception as a pilot program – helping inform how these grants should evolve through the years to meet changing threats and needs,” said Susan Antman, Executive Director.
“Our collective voices have been heard and with great satisfaction and gratitude, we applaud our elected leaders and thank Governor Murphy for signing the bill into law. Making the program permanent enables all faith and nonprofit communities in NJ to be more proactive in prioritizing security for the benefit of all who live, work, and play in our great state.”
Following, please find:
- Press release issued today by Governor Murphy's office
- A review of the Federation advocacy integral to the development and passage into law of the NSGP
TRENTON – Governor Murphy today signed legislation (A-1663/S-1842) establishing the “New Jersey Nonprofit Security Grant Program”. The program follows a successful three-year pilot program managed by the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP) which expired in 2020.
“With hate crimes on the rise, we must do everything that we can to protect vulnerable communities from threats to safety,” said Governor Murphy. “This legislation provides funding that will allow nonprofits that are at high risk of being targeted to take measures to protect themselves. Our administration will always act as a partner to those who are targeted and under threat.”
"After a successful pilot, we thank Governor Murphy for signing the New Jersey Nonprofit Security Grant Program into law and investing in the security of our communities," said Acting Director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness Laurie Doran. "The legislation adds another resource to NJOHSP’s arsenal for mitigation efforts against acts of violence and terrorism. Similar to the federal homeland security program, eligible nonprofit organizations throughout New Jersey will have an opportunity to apply for a competitive State-funded grant program to enhance their physical security."
Primary sponsors of this legislation include Assemblymembers Annette Quijano and Robert Karabinchak, and Senators Joseph Cryan and Nicholas Scutari. Former Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri-Huttle was a primary sponsor of this legislation in the prior legislative session.
“Times have not gotten any better since the pilot program was introduced. We’ve all seen the news reports,” said Assembly sponsors Annette Quijano, Valerie Vaineri-Huttle, and Robert Karabinchak in a joint statement. “Many religious based non-profits remain at risk and the need for security has heightened. Nonprofits, religious based organizations and members of these communities have a legitimate concern regarding their safety. Through the pilot program, we were able to see the need for funding. Now it’s time to make that support a permanent priority.”
“We have witnessed a disturbing increase in the number of incidents of hate and bigotry based on race, religion and ethnicity,” said Senator Joe Cryan who previously served as Union County Sherriff. “The pilot program helped protect houses of worship, community centers and other non-profit institutions that are most vulnerable. Making it permanent will improve security that protects the facilities, their staffs and the people they serve in communities throughout New Jersey.”
“No individual, group or organization should be left vulnerable to any threats or acts of violence because of their race, religion or heritage,” said Senate President Nick Scutari, “Places of worship and other locations that bring people together will be better protected with the support this program provides. We won’t allow bias or hate to intimidate anyone from practicing their religion or honoring their ethnic pride.”
This legislation creates a permanent “New Jersey Nonprofit Security Grant Program” and makes available grants of up to $50,000 for nonprofit organizations at greatest risk of attack for the purchase of equipment to harden vulnerable targets. Under the program, organizations will also be able to receive grants of up to $10,000 to hire security personnel on a temporary or permanent basis. The legislation directions NJOHSP to request an annual appropriation of $2 million for this program as a part of its annual budget request.
“We are very gratified the Governor and legislature have made the Nonprofit Security Grant Program permanent,” said Robin Wishnie, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon, and Warren Counties. “This program makes it possible for New Jersey’s religious-based organizations to have access to vital funds to enhance security. For us as Jewish New Jerseyans, it is more pressing than ever before that we secure our facilities and protect our community from acts of antisemitism and violence.”
“This is a welcome decision by Governor Murphy,” said Dov Ben-Shimon, CEO of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest, the largest Jewish organization in New Jersey. “In light of the evil antisemitic attack on the Colleyville synagogue this past Shabbat (Saturday), making the nonprofit security grant program permanent is the first, minimum step forward in bringing more security resources to the Jewish community. We’re grateful for the Governor’s continued efforts in promoting the safety of our community.”
“We want to thank Governor Murphy, the co-sponsors, and the state legislature for passing this vital piece of legislation,” said Jason Shames, CEO of Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey. “We have worked tirelessly with our partners in the legislature and nonprofit community to ensure the safety and security of our state’s nonprofit and religious institutions. Particularly in the light of recent antisemitic incidents locally and around the county, it is essential to continue this important work with our partners to protect all of our citizens from acts of violence and hate. Making the Nonprofit Security Grant Program permanent goes a long way towards this goal.”
“Utilization of the funds made available through the Nonprofit Security Grant Program have been vital not only to enhancing the physical security within our community institutions but also in demonstrating a real appreciation for the vulnerability many individuals continue to feel throughout our community,” said Jennifer Dubrow Weiss, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey. “We are grateful to the bill sponsors for championing this legislations and to the Governor for signing it into law.”
“Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ, along with neighboring Federations, interfaith partners, and legislators, has been integral to the formulation, creation, and expansion of the state nonprofit security grant program (NSGP) since its inception as a pilot program – helping inform how these grants should evolve through the years to meet changing threats and needs,” said Susan Antman, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey. “Our collective voices have been heard and with great satisfaction and gratitude, we applaud our elected leaders and thank Governor Murphy for signing the bill into law. Making the program permanent enables all faith and nonprofit communities in NJ to be more proactive in prioritizing security for the benefit of all who live, work, and play in our great state.”
JEWISH FEDERATIONS OF NEW JERSEY
ADVOCACY IN ACTION
A1663/S1842: LEGISLATION TO MAKE THE NONPROFIT SECURITY GRANT PROGRAM PERMANENT
The New Jersey Nonprofit Security Grant Pilot Program (NJ NSGP) was established in 2018 by way of P.L. 2018, c.169 to provide funding for “Security Personnel” to eligible nonprofit organizations across New Jersey, at the greatest risk of terrorist attacks.
The statue was later amended in 2019 to include funding for both “Security Personnel” and “Target Hardening Equipment”
Today, the New Jersey Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NJ NSGP) provides funding to eligible nonprofit organizations across New Jersey at the greatest risk of terrorist attacks. This State program consists of two grant funding opportunities as described here:
- NJ NSGP – Security Personnel (NJ NSGP-SP): This program is limited to the hiring of federal, State, county, or municipal active law enforcement officers appointed pursuant to P.L.1985 or security officers registered pursuant to P.L.2004, c.134 for the applicant’s facility. The use of other personnel for security purposes that do not fit the above description is ineligible under this program. This funding may not be used to supplant expenses for an organization’s current security personnel but may be used for additional security personnel needs based on identified risk. Under special conditions, the use of security personnel may be used for off-site events within the geographic boundaries of the State of New Jersey. The maximum amount per applicant is $10,000.
- NJ NSGP – Target Hardening Equipment (NJ NSGP-THE): This program is limited to the purchase and installation of security equipment on property owned or leased by the nonprofit organization. Equipment is limited to select items contained within categories 14 and 15 on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Authorized Equipment List, which includes items such as CCTV, card access readers, blast film, lighting, fencing, bollards, etc. The only exceptions are alert/PA systems for emergency broadcasting. The maximum amount per applicant is $50,000.
FEDERATIONS' ROLE IN CREATION OF NJ NSGP
Relying on the expertise of Federation Community Security Directors, Federations have been integral to the formulation, creation, and expansion of the state nonprofit security grant program since its inception as a pilot program.
While this has been a team effort amongst Federation professionals, Federation Security Directors have played an important and outsized role - working directly with State Association/JFNJ, the legislature, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, and the Governor’s office to inform how these grants should evolve through the years to meet changing threats and needs.
PERMANENCEY OF LEGISLATION
Introduced in the 2020-21 legislative session, the bill makes the Nonprofit Security Grant Pilot Program permanent.
Relying on the expertise of Federation Community Security Directors, Federation played a significant role in drafting the legislation, offering amendments, and providing expert testimony at legislative hearings.
Jewish Federations have gone on the record as supportive of this bill, offering oral and written testimony as well as support memos, at every stage of the legislative process.
Federations encouraged interfaith partners to join in advocacy efforts.
Our collective voices were heard, and the legislation passed unanimously in the Assembly in June of 2021 and the Senate in January of 2022 (the last day of the 2020-21 session).
Governor Murphy signed the legislation into law on January 18, 2022.