2017-03-29 / Home

Gov. Christie makes security funds available to Southern New Jersey


At the announcement in Trenton were (from left), Jacob Toporek, executive director, NJ State Association of Jewish Federations; Kirk Wisemayer, executive director, Jewish Federation of Atlantic and Cape May Counties; Jennifer Dubrow Weiss, CEO, Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey; Chris Rodriquez, director, NJ Office of Homeland Security; David Snyder, executive director, Jewish Community Relations Council of Southern New Jersey; and Esther Donnelly, business director, Jewish Federation of Cumberland, Gloucester & Salem Counties. At the announcement in Trenton were (from left), Jacob Toporek, executive director, NJ State Association of Jewish Federations; Kirk Wisemayer, executive director, Jewish Federation of Atlantic and Cape May Counties; Jennifer Dubrow Weiss, CEO, Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey; Chris Rodriquez, director, NJ Office of Homeland Security; David Snyder, executive director, Jewish Community Relations Council of Southern New Jersey; and Esther Donnelly, business director, Jewish Federation of Cumberland, Gloucester & Salem Counties. Southern New Jersey Jewish leaders were among those who applauded when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced that $1-million would be made available to counties not deemed eligible for federal security dollars. The Trenton ceremony announced the authorization and funding for a NJ Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP). The $1-million program would benefit nonprofits, including JCCs, houses of worship, federation offices, and other community institutions. The nine eligible counties for the new NJ NSGP are Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Mercer, Salem, and Warren counties.

“Unfortunately, as incidents in the past few weeks have shown, every area of New Jersey is vulnerable to threats and possible attacks, making these additional resources crucial in our efforts to enhance security in certain parts of the state that had not previously received federal security grant funding,” said Christie. “During these trying times, my administration remains committed to ensuring that nonprofits across our entire state have the resources they need to ensure our citizens may gather freely and securely.”

The NJ State Association of Jewish Federations has been part of the advocacy effort over the last three years to provide monies for institutional security target hardening and upgrades in partnership with the offices of U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker, Congressman Donald Norcross, and the NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. Also involved were the Jewish Federations located in those counties not eligible for grants under the federal NSGP.

“It is always gratifying when after so much time and energy is invested on an issue such as this one that now our local Jewish institutions will be eligible for additional dollars to assist with their security and target hardening needs,” said Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey CEO Jennifer Dubrow Weiss. “These funds will not only have a direct tangible benefit in making our Jewish institutions and other faith-based institutions more secure, but also a psychological one in knowing that our elected officials recognize the risks faced in our area of the state as well.”

“We applaud the governor’s leadership and commitment in making these very important funds available to non-profits in Southern New Jersey, particularly given the federal government has overlooked our security needs for so long. We are very grateful for the considerable efforts of the New Jersey State Association of Jewish Federations, for its leadership in helping to secure these funds from the state, and for representing Jewish New Jersey so well,” said Kirk Wisemayer, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Atlantic & Cape May Counties.

According to Southern New Jersey JCRC Executive Director David Snyder, these funds will not only have a direct tangible benefit in making Jewish institutions and other faith-based institutions more secure, but also a psychological one in knowing that elected officials recognize and appreciate the risks faced in Southern New Jersey.

Among those applauding Gov. Christie’s actions was Congressman Donald Norcross (D-NJ-01), who issued a statement, saying in part, “In the face of rising acts of hate, we need all the resources we can muster to stop and contain acts of violence before they happen. These funds will help us do just that…Our friends and neighbors in the Jewish, Muslim and all minority communities need to know we stand with them and are committed to their safety and wellbeing.”

Sen. Jim Beach (D-Burlington, Camden) released a statement, saying, “We know that denouncing acts of anti- Semitism and hate in New Jersey does not go far enough. I welcome the governor’s announcement today and applaud his action to make funds available to synagogues and other nonprofits and religious institutions to pay for the installation of security systems that will help them prevent and protect against any acts of terrorism. I have been fighting for this type of funding for South Jersey, and am pleased to finally see a good step in the right direction. We must all continue to stand firmly in protecting our residents and the very values our nation was built upon.”

On Apr. 19, the NJ Office of Homeland Security will be holding an information session for eligible non-profits to learn more about the application process.

For those interested in attending, please email jcrcsnj@jfedsnj.org 

Return to top