“We can only expect our government to make our security a priority if we will make it a priority. We have a voice in our democracy and are responsible to use it.” — Rabbi Kenny Schiowitz, Rabbi of Congregation Shaare Tefillah in Teaneck and President of the RCBC (Rabbinical Council of Bergen County)
Rabbi Schiowitz is absolutely right. In the wake of last month’s devastating anti-Semitic attacks in Jersey City and Monsey, NY, Teach Coalition, Teach NJ and the day school community in Northern New Jersey are partnering with Assemblyman Gary Schaer in calling on Trenton to increase funding for security at nonpublic schools and other vulnerable nonprofit institutions.
In 2019, Governor Phil Murphy doubled the per-pupil security allocation from $75 to $150. As anti-Semitic violence continues to rise, though, it has become clear that our schools need another increase — this time to $250 per pupil.
We’re also calling on Trenton to increase The New Jersey Nonprofit Security Grant Pilot Program (NJ NSGPP). This grant provides NJ nonprofit organizations, at-risk for hate motivated violence, with funding for security personnel or target hardening equipment. The introductory amount was allocated at $1 million dollars. We are calling for an increased allocation of $10 million.
Thankfully, Trenton has begin to support enhanced security at our communal institutions. But as Assemblyman Schaer told a group of 40 Jewish community leaders and advocates, who gathered in our NJ office this week for a strategy meeting, anti-Semitism is a 5,000-year-old scourge that won’t be solved overnight. Right now, we need more money to protect our children — and we need it soon.
This means we need Trenton, along with statehouses across the U.S.,to step up!
To join our movement, visit www.teachcoalition.org/nj/