In recent months and years, houses of worship, community centers, schools, and other facilities serving all faiths have been the subject of violent, often bias-based, attacks.
Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey has redoubled efforts working with multifaith/multiethnic partners from the nonprofit sector, government officials, and law enforcement to make security preparedness initiatives more accessible in Monmouth and Greater Middlesex counties – including:
- Training in active threat response, hostility de-escalation, and physical trauma containment, for example;
- Helping organizations navigate the nonprofit security grant programs (NSGPs) at state and Federal levels;
- Advocating with state and Federal elected leaders to fund these grant programs, and much more.
In January, the state of NJ passed its NSGP into law, meaning the program is now permanent, so faith and nonprofit organizations in NJ can be more proactive in prioritizing security for all. Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ was integral in helping conceive, shape, and expand this program even before it became a pilot more than five years ago.
Currently, Federation is advocating with the U.S. Congress to double Federal NSGP funds.
But one of the most important hallmarks of this work is that security awareness and preparedness is not just for an organization’s or facility’s leaders. Security awareness and preparedness is everyone’s business – beginning with basic situational awareness and incident reporting to digital hygiene and it builds from there.
In this winter’s Texas synagogue hostage crisis, the rabbi said de-escalation training helped in his handling of the "increasingly belligerent" terrorist. If you’d like to view a recording from Federation’s 2020 training: H.A.R.M. (Hostility, Aggression, and Rage Management) training, click here.
And as Federation continues investing in security and combating hate while caring for those who are vulnerable and nurturing our children's bright tomorrows, may we all be safe, send prayers of healing to anyone impacted by crimes of bias, and know peace.