By Melissa Apter
June 18, 2015
Frustrated by being deemed ineligible for federal dollars to boost their security profiles, Jewish organizations in South Jersey are screaming, “Show me the money!” The problem is, no one knows who they should be screaming at.
Who exactly is elegible for homeland security grants remains a source of contention for Jewish communities in the southern half of New Jersey. While the purpose of the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) is to support nonprofit organizations deemed a high risk of terrorist attack with so-called “target hardening” and other physical enhancements, eligible nonprofits must be located within a specific Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) region.
The Philadelphia UASI covers the five counties — Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia — and for years, communities located in the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) across the Delaware River that includes Camden, Burlington and Gloucester Counties were deemed eligible to apply for the security grants.