Nonprofit Security Grants Program 2021 Awards to Jewish Organizations in Southern Arizona
The Southern Arizona Jewish Federation, along with five other local Jewish agencies, organizations and synagogues, recently received funding through the Arizona Department of Homeland Security (ADHS) Non-Profit Security Grants Program (NSGP) to improve security measures on their campuses. The JFSA intends to use the majority of the allocated funds to modernize the surveillance systems at the Harvey and Deanna Evenchik Center for Philanthropy and install barriers for multipoint access to buildings, among other improvements.
The other five Jewish recipients from southern Arizona are Congregation Chaverim, University of Arizona Hillel, Jewish Family and Children Services, Temple Emanu-El, and Handmaker Jewish Services for Aging. In total, the six organizations will receive over half a million dollars in funding: JFSA ($ 121,500), Congregation Chaverim ($ 144,440), UArizona Hillel ($ 48,239), JFCS ($ 77,615), Temple Emanu-El ($ 45,840) and Handmaker ($ 150,000).
A total of twenty-eight nonprofit organizations in Arizona will receive grants this year.
History of the Non-Profit Security Grants Program
the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) petitioned Congress in December 2001 to support the security needs of the nonprofit sector. Beginning in 2003, the JFNA – in close collaboration with the Secure Community Network (SCN), as the official safety and security organization of the JFNA – launched a major congressional education campaign. The NSGP was then created in 2004.
The NSGP is a unique initiative designed to provide support for target strengthening and other physical security enhancements and activities, including planning and training, to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of terrorist attack . The aim of these funds is to integrate nonprofit preparedness activities with broader national and local preparedness efforts. It is also designed to promote coordination and collaboration in emergency preparedness activities between representatives of public and private communities, as well as state and local government agencies.
Since the inception of the NSGP, the JFNA has remained the primary advocate and coordinating body in supporting the program’s annual appropriations and providing technical assistance to interested Jewish community agencies participating in the program.
In 2021, Congress allocated $ 180 million to urban and non-urban areas, double the amount set aside for these grants in 2020. The process of obtaining a grant from the NSGP has become more and more more competitive. 2021 saw a record number of applicants, 3,361 applications totaling over $ 400 million were received, as hate crimes increased across the country.
Safety in Southern Arizona’s Jewish Community
Independent of the NSGP, the Federation and the Foundation have taken proactive steps to protect the Jewish community in southern Arizona. In 2019, JFSA / JCF appointed Paul Patterson as Director of Jewish Community Security. Subsequently, Chelsea Gutierrez was also brought into the role. Patterson and Gutierrez conducted facility reviews at all synagogues and agencies in the area, guaranteed best practices, and provided training. They continue to serve as resources and are linked to the SNA.
The JCF Community Grants process awarded grants of $ 5,000 to five local synagogues for security improvements in 2020. Applications were submitted and awarded to Congregation Anshei Israel, Congregation Bet Shalom, Congregation Chofetz Chayim , the Young Israel Congregation and the Temple Emanu-El. Each congregation used the funds for unique security upgrades specific to their needs, such as entry adjustments and surveillance technology.
In 2021, JCF / JFSA brought together over sixty professional and religious leaders from diverse backgrounds to form a coalition to fight hate and anti-Semitism in our Jewish community in southern Arizona. The group created, signed and presented to the press the “Statement on Community and Anti-Semitism for Religious and Ethnic Leaders of Southern Arizona.”