7 NH houses of worship share $150K in security grants, NH awarded $4M toward terrorism prevention

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Rabbi Beth D. Davidson of Temple Adath Yeshurun, Manchester (FILE photo), one of seven NH houses of worship receiving federal Nonprofit Security Grants to increase building security.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – New Hampshire’s Democratic congressional delegation announced Friday that seven houses of worship have received $150,000 first-time Nonprofit Security Grants to upgrade building security.

The $150,000 in grants will go to four churches, two temples and a Chabad.

The Department of Homeland Security awarded $4,077,500 to the State of New Hampshire through the State Homeland Security Program. The grants were announced Friday by U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01). 

Funds from the State Homeland Security Program support terrorism prevention and preparedness at the state and local level, including ensuring that law enforcement has the equipment and training necessary to prevent terrorist attacks and save lives if attacks do occur. 

This is the first time that New Hampshire institutions are receiving assistance through the Nonprofit Security Grant Program. This year, seven places of worship will receive funding to strengthen their buildings’ physical security. The grants are going to:

  • Bedford Presbyterian Church
  • Bethany Congregational Christian Church in Greenland
  • First Congregational Church in Littleton
  • Chabad of New Hampshire in Manchester
  • Temple Adath Yeshurun in Manchester
  • Temple Beth Abraham of Nashua
  • The Etz Hayim Synagogue in Derry 

“As domestic and foreign terrorists alike target places of worship, malls, and other gathering places, it’s sadly more important than ever that community organizations have the resources they need to mitigate the impact of an attack—and that local and state law enforcement have robust infrastructure to prevent and respond to attacks,” Hassan said. “As a member of the Homeland Security Committee, I will continue to fight for additional resources for state and local law enforcement and for other communities across our state.”

“No American should ever feel afraid or endangered while worshipping. Ensuring our first responders and state and local leaders have the tools and training they need to keep people safe is one of my top concerns, and as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ve fought to secure the federal funds necessary to deliver these resources. The safety and security of New Hampshire communities will always be my top concern, and I’ll continue to work across the aisle to boost funding for grant programs like this to ensure Granite Staters can live and worship without fear,” Shaheen said. 

“Terrorism poses a significant threat at home and abroad, and it is critical that we do everything we can to combat these hateful and deadly acts of violence,” said Kuster. “This funding will bolster our state’s security efforts – including at places of worship – and help prevent attacks before they happen, as well as save lives when they do occur.  I’m pleased by this common-sense investment in the safety of New Hampshire and I will continue working to increase funding for programs and measures to protect Granite Staters.” 

“It is a sad reality that churches, synagogues, mosques and other places where the faithful gather have been sites of violent attacks. Nothing is more important than the safety and security of our families and neighbors, and these federal funds will help secure vulnerable facilities and local law enforcement have the resources and training needed to keep people safe,” said Pappas.

Senators Hassan and Shaheen previously called on the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to take action in response to anonymous bomb threats made against Jewish institutions. Senator Hassan has urged the Department of Homeland Security and Senate appropriations leaders to prioritize robust funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program and the State Homeland Security Grant Program. Senator Shaheen has called on the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee leadership to prioritize federal support for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which funds the Nonprofit Security Grant Program.

ABOUT FY 2019 Nonprofit Security Grant Program

In FY 2019, the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) provides $60,000,000 in funding support for target hardening and other physical security enhancements and activities to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack. Of this amount, $50,000,000 in funding was available to nonprofit organizations located within one of the specific UASI-designated high-risk urban areas (NSGP-Urban Area or NSGP-UA). In FY 2019, additional, separate funding in the amount of $10,000,000 was also appropriated for nonprofit organizations located outside of FY 2019 UASI-designated urban areas (NSGP-State or NSGP-S). The intent of the FY 2019 NSGP is to competitively award grant funding to assist nonprofit organizations in obtaining the resources required to support and integrate the preparedness activities of nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack 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. Under the NSGPState (NSGP-S), eligible states receive an allocation for nonprofit organizations located outside of FY 2019 UASI-designated high-risk urban areas. As in previous fiscal years, the NSGP-Urban Area (NSGP-UA) is a competitive grant program.

About this Author

Carol Robidoux

PublisherManchester Ink Link

Longtime NH journalist and publisher of ManchesterInkLink.com. Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!