Federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program Awards Over $500K to 5 Southern Arizona Jewish Organizations

The Arizona Department of Homeland Security (ADHS) recently announced their 2023 Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) recipients, and five Southern Arizona Jewish organizations were among those receiving funding. The combined allocation for the five organizations totaled $511,779 for security infrastructure upgrades.

The five organization awardees are Beth Shalom Temple Center, Chabad of Tucson, Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging, Hillel Foundation at University of Arizona, and Kol Ami Synagogue.

Funded by Jewish Philanthropies of Southern Arizona (JPSA), Jewish Community Security Directors, Paul Patterson and Chelsea Gutierrez worked closely with area synagogues and agencies to secure funding, while providing ongoing advisory services for the implementation of approved upgrades.

“By receiving the non-profit security grant, we now have the opportunity to continue securing our facilities, which in turn allows us to further the mission of supporting our community,” said Ryan Reid, Operations Manager at University of Arizona Hillel.

“This grant gives us the chance to empower, make a positive impact, and create a better environment for the Tucson Jewish community to grow without fear. None of this could have been done without the support of Paul (Patterson) and Chelsea (Gutierrez). They helped in analyzing potential vulnerable areas around our facility and helped create a brief that was given to Homeland Security during the approval process.”

Patterson emphasized that though he and Gutierrez help facilitate the grant approval process, it truly is a team effort. “We are fortunate that so many in the community work hard on these grants because it is not an easy process. This part of the process really drives home the ‘stronger together’ mindset.”

Recently, NSGP funding opportunities have become more and more competitive. Less than 60 percent of Arizona’s 56 applications this year were awarded.

“Security in all forms is ever evolving and an innate human desire,” said Gutierrez. “Being able to provide a higher level of physical security to those within our community strengthens not just the facilities in which we work and worship, but also our internal security by knowing we are a safer community as a whole.”

From their website, the NSGP is a unique initiative designed to provide support for target hardening and other physical security enhancements and activities, including planning and training, to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of terrorist attack. The intent of these funds is to integrate nonprofit preparedness activities with broader state and local preparedness efforts. It is also designed to promote coordination and collaboration in emergency preparedness activities among public and private community representatives, as well as state and local government agencies.